The Builder Magazine
November 1923 - Volume IX - Number 11
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - F.H. LITTLEFIELD
PRESENT DAY TENDENCIES AND DANGERS IN FREEMASONRY - By Bro.
Louis Block, Iowa
STANDING FOR DEFINITE THINGS - By Bro. George H. Dern, Utah
THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY IN NEW JERSEY - By Bro. Ernest A. Reed,
THE LOST WORD - By Bro. Arthur C. Parker, New York
THE GRAND MASTER OF ENGLAND - By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - LOUIS KOSSUTH - By Bro. Geo. W.
Baird, Dist. of Columbia
THE CABLE TOW - By Bro. Henry Taylor, Missouri
THE STUDY CLUB - Chapters of Masonic History - Part VII, Freemasonry and the
Gild System - By Bro. H. L. Haywood
IN WHAT SENSE INFALLIBILITY IS CLAIMED FOR THE POPE
Introducing Bro. F. H. Littlefield
A Temple of Light
A Valuable Contribution to Masonic History
A Book of Knowledge and Wisdom
THE QUESTION BOX
Masonry's Oldest Recorded Date
Luther Burbank a Mason
Grand Lodge Statistics
The Democracy of Death
"If Within the First Square or Angle of My Work"
Secrecy as Regards Lodge Business
Musical Setting for "Every Year"
The Scottish Rite in the Hawaiian Islands
Magnus Johnson Not a Mason
Secretary for Fifty-two Years
Scottish Rite Fees in China
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Present Day Tendencies and Dangers in Freemasonry
By Bro. LOUIS BLOCK, P.G.M., Iowa
We are living in an age when it takes but little urging to spur a man to follow Paul's
scriptural injunction to "Prove all things". In fact, there never was a time when
people were so ready to submit all things "the acid test" even going so far as to jump
at conclusions, and discard a thing before the test is half done.
Not only are materials, machinery and methods being tried in rapid succession, but
the probe is being pushed into parties, governments, societies, institutions, churches
and fraternities. Nor can the Masonic institution hope to escape trial along with the
Has Masonry today any real excuse for its continued existence?
Has it any solution to offer of the trying problems that vex and harass not only the
individual soul, but the soul of the world as well, till one questions whether the game
is worth the candle, or life worth living at all?
Masonry can no more escape standing up to answer this question than can any of the
rest of human institutions that the modem world is putting on trial.
Nothing does us quite so much good as to now and then take stock of our institutions,
to find out what they mean, and what they really stand for.
To do that we must go back to first principles. We must dig down to the foundation
and find out upon what the thing is bottomed. The world just now is showing a
perfect passion for this sort of thing.
In the field of religion a great controversy is raging between the "modernists" and the
"fundamentalists". The former are for a freer interpretation, for the loosening; of
creedal chains, while the latter claim that in going back to the ancient creeds they
have gone down to the foundation, although one is often tempted to wonder whether
the true Foundation does not lie far deeper than all the clashing creeds in a Great Life
and a Great Love that gave birth to a new Commandment, requiring not so much that
we have belief, but far more that we love one another.
Let us now go down to the foundation of Masonry, and find, if we can, upon what
sort of footing our building is based. We have been taught from time immemorial
that the design of the Masonic Institution was to make its votaries wiser and better
and consequently happier, that we should receive none knowingly into our ranks but
such as were moral and upright before God and of good repute before the world. This
was on the theory that such men when associated together would naturally seek each
other's welfare and happiness equally with their own. In order that they might not
become weary in well-doing it furnished them with a great common platform upon
which they might "meet upon the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square."
It obliged them to that great "Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular
opinions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of Honour and
Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished;
whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true
Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance."
That, we must all admit, is just about the broadest creed to be found in all history, and
it is upon the broad foundation of this "Ancient Charge" that our beloved Institution is
based. It is upon such a foundation and in the spirit of Him, who said "My Father
worketh hitherto, and I work" that we are taught to labour incessantly, making a
persistent and proper use of the Trowel, an Instrument used for the "noble and
glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement
which unites us into one sacred band or society of friends and brothers among whom
no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who
best can work and best agree".
The question is whether an institution so conceived and so founded has any part to
play, any worthwhile function to perform amid the perplexities that pursue us at this
Let us see.
But first let us take a look at modern life. What's the matter with it? Very, very much.
In the first place, we have allowed the plain and simple life of the pioneer days to
drift into a thing so infernally intricate, so infinitely involved, so confoundedly
complex, that the human mind stands appalled at the thought of it. No longer are our
wants few, and plain and simple, but many and multiplex. We want so many things
in such great variety and in such quick succession that half the time we don't know
what we want. Our houses, our minds and our lives are so gorged with many things
that we are able to digest and assimilate scarcely any of them. From the cradle to the
grave it is the same. Our children have it put upon them early in life. Where once a
little sister cuddled a rag-doll to her heart, she must now perforce pet a Parisian
puppet festooned with fashionable furbelows. Little Bobbie must be denied his
hobby-horse and must get mixed up in a meccano set. Where once the little red
school house did the business we now have the kindergarten, the primary school, the
secondary school and the high school, and these with all sorts of fads and frills
fastened upon them. We must get into everything, and have everything, and "put on"
a whole kennel full of "dog", even if we have to cheat our creditors and betray our
friends to do it. A mortgage goes on the home so we can grab a graphonola, an auto,
or a radio. Corned beef and cabbage have given away to camembert and caviar. Dad
can no longer sit down to "supper" in his shirt sleeves, but must climb into dress
clothes before he can be "served with dinner". We no longer dare to have a plain and
simple bellyache, but must get along with gastritis, or colitis, or appendicitis. We dare
not even go simply and: plainly crazy, but must be cursed by a "complex". And when
at last it comes to the matter of making an escape from this mundane sphere we
realize that the simple business of dying has become so elaborate a piece of
procedure, that it were far cheaper had we kept walking around instead of trying to
meet the "mortician's" bill. Once we might have been simply and plainly planted by
an under taker, but "them days is gone forever! "
WE LUST FOR SPEED
In the midst of all this and making the muddle worse, we have been bitten by the
speed-bug, and have fallen a victim to the skidding-sickness. We have developed a
perfect passion for rapid motion. Nothing can go fast enough to suit us. Express
trains rush us from Chicago to New York, ocean greyhounds scoot us from New York
to London in a few short days, and high-speed cars hurl us to hell in a jiffy. We can't
be patient or deliberate about anything. We are rabidly restless and can't bear to sit
still. We must keep in motion. "Where do we go from here?" is the common cry.
"We don't know where we are going, but we are on our way!" We want what we want
when we want it. Ready-built houses and ready-to-wear clothing are the rule. We are
willing to wait for nothing. Everyone is on the jump. We hurry here and there,
chasing first this thing, and then that, darting about like wild water-bugs at a sewer's
mouth. We are ready to "try anything once", and always crazy to try something new.
When jazz fails to give us joy, then our madness manifests itself in the Marathon
Realizing that something is wrong society tries to find a cure in new laws. Then we
have such perfect pestilence of law-making that humanity heaves a great sigh of relief
the moment Congress or the Legislature adjourns. We have too much government in
business and far too little business in government. We have a cataclysm of class-
legislation, each crowd crazy to hog things for its particular class, and "to hell with
the other fellow". We have a whole raft of radical legislation, and less respect for law
than ever before. Russia may have her Soviet slaughters, but poor America, God pity
the day! has her Mer Rouge murders and her Herrin massacres. These things menace
the land with dissension and disunion, disruption and disaster, with everything that
divides and destroys.
And what have we as Masons to do with all this? What can we do about it?
Well, in the first place, we can awake to a realization that it is high time we no longer
rested content with a mere recitation of our ritual, rules and regulations. That there is
coming to us, now as never before, a clarion call to promptly and persistently put our
precepts into practice. To realize again that
"A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeds."
For Masonry, from time immemorial, has been ever sternly and soberly and seriously
conservative and never riotously radical. Masonry has always had in her heart a
withering contempt for things frantic and foolish, and has ever firmly stood for these
things that make for stability and order, for strength and establishment.
WHAT DOES MASONRY STAND FOR
The trouble with far too many of us is that we don't know what our Masonry really
How many of us, I wonder, have ever truly realized that when the Master in the East
has charged us saying "In the State, you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to
your government and just to your country. You are not to countenance disloyalty or
rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the
government of the country in which you live", there was then and there laid upon our
shoulders the performance of a duty as sacred, as solemn and as binding as anything
contained in the obligation taken at the altar?
We cannot practice our Masonry until we have first learned to know it. Once we have
learned to know it we will clearly see that there is not one of our modem perplexities
but what can be solved by a faithful application of Masonic principles and precepts.
But there can be no salvation if the principles are merely preached and practised. Yet
if they are practised untold good will be done.
It would simply transform the world, if, for a single year, each and every one of us
would simply live up to our ancient religion "to be good Men and tme - Men of
Honour and Honesty."
If we are the sort of men we have prided ourselves upon being the sort who seek each
other's welfare and happiness equally with our own, we will help one another to know
what our Masonry means - do this by admonition, discussion, debates, study and
lectures. Here is where our study clubs, our research societies and our service
associations come in.
But above all else we must help each other to live the life, in the shop and the market-
place, in the office and the factory, in the home and on the street, so that the blessed
influence of "good men and tme" may be met with everywhere.
For at the bottom the fault of the present state of things is not legal or economical, but
personal and individual. It is not the system that is wrong, but the men who mn it.
It's high time we quit blaming a system for our own shortcomings.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Our Republic is "one made of many" and if each one of the many does his duty then,
and only then, will the "Temple of our Liberties" endure. It will not do for any one of
us to wait for the other to do his duty. Each one must be up and doing, acting of his
own volition, sweeping before his own door, hosing his own row. It is the old
question of Hiram Abiff over again; the question of individual moral responsibility,
of individual fidelity, regardless of personal loss or sacrifice.
There is no need for new laws, new systems, new forms of government. There is a
crying need for plain old-fashioned individual performance of duty.
"Honour and Fame from no condition rise,
Act well your part - there all the honour lies!"
Otherwise all our preaching of precepts, all our ritualizing, will be as
"A thing full of sound and fury,
Masonry has a glorious gospel, as we her votaries well know, but glorious as that
gospel may be, there is another far more vitally important and that is the gospel of the
individual Mason as shown in his individual life.
"THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO YOU"
"There's a sweet old story translated for man,
But writ in the long, long ago-
The Gospel according to Mark, Luke and John-
Of Christ and His mission below.
Men read and admire the gospel of Christ,
With its love so unfailing and true;
But what do they say, and what do they think,
Of the gospel according to you?
'Tis a wonderful story, that gospel of love,
As it shines in the Christ-life divine;
And, oh, that its truth might be told again
In the story of your life and mine!
Unselfishness mirrors in every scene;
Love blossoms on every sod;
And back from its vision the heart comes to tell
The wonderful goodness of God.
You are writing each day a letter to men;
Take care that the writing is true;
'Tis the only gospel that some men will read-
The gospel according to you."
THE MENACE WITHIN
When a candidate seeks admission into our fraternity we compel him to sign a
petition in which he solemnly states that "he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a
sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow citizens".
Is that pure "bunk", or does it really mean something?
We are prompted to put this question by reason of the fact that there have arisen in
recent years a number of organizations pretending to be Masonic that are anything but
serviceable to mankind.
They pretend to be "Masonic" by reason of the fact that they permit no one to join
them who is not a Master Mason because of the fact that their membership is
composed of Masons only, the thoughtless Mason and the uninformed non-Mason,
alike, conclude that these societies are Masonic, despite the fact that none of them
have been either recognized or ratified by any governing Masonic body.
They are thus practically parading under false pretences and practising a fraud upon
the innocent and unwary, thereby putting Masonry in a false light before the world.
We say parading advisedly, for their votaries seem set upon strutting the streets clad
in gay, gaudy and garish garments, flaunting flaming banners, tearing the public
peace to tatters with the blare of the trombone and the boom of the bass-drum.
Seeing which the citizen on the sidewalk cries, "See, there go the Masons!" The
Masons, forsooth! These devotees of dazzle and din!
And the newspapers, who hate things hidden, to whom nothing secret is sacred, who
persecute privacy and pray to the god of Publicity, help him to believe that Masonry
is just that!
And, my brethren, unless we are awake to the danger that threatens us, Masonry is apt
to degenerate into just that.
These institutions are growing in number. The other day the writer counted up
fourteen of them. Grand Masters and Grand Lodge Correspondents have assailed
them in no uncertain terms, and not without reason, for they are a real menace to
They could gain no lasting foothold among men were it not for their pretended
holding of a Masonic certificate of good character. In the past, to say that a thing was
"Masonic" was to certify to its high standing. The story of Masonry's devotion to the
great doctrines of friendship, morality and brotherly love, of the relief of the down-
trodden and distressed, and her dispelling of the darkness of ignorance by the light of
truth, has placed her upon the topmost pinnacle in the esteem and respect of men.
These "side organizations" well know this, and they seek to slip into places of power
and influence by means of their alleged Masonic passports. But unless this menace is
soon curbed, the day is not distant when a certificate of Masonic membership will
have lost all its meaning and value.
These nefarious organizations are a menace to Masonry in many ways.
One of the queer things about them is that the zealots who espouse the cause of these
side organizations seem to have so little respect or reverence for the very institution,
membership in whose ranks they make a prerequisite for joining their own order.
Their candidate chasers invade the sanctity of the lodge room, interfere with the
workers, make the candidate feel that the degree work is but of passing importance, a
matter of mere incident on the way to the "real thing". Treating the Blue Lodge
degrees as mere stepping stones, they tread beneath ruthless feet the beautiful flowers
of the ritual, in a mad effort to rush the candidate into their fold. Before the
apprentice is dry behind the ears he is harangued and pestered, brow-beaten and
bulldozed, into joining their gang and "having a good time". The immemorial dignity
and decorum of the lodge is disturbed, its noble lessons and high doctrines are
discounted and disparaged, its high ideals are trailed in the dust, and the bewildered
candidate comes to think that the Order exists for frivolity and not for service.
MASONRY IS SANE, STEADY, SOBER
Now Masonry has endured down the ages, solely because of its serious and earnest
character, because of the sane, steady and sober quality of its aims and ideals. These
"side-orders" strive to slur over all these and to substitute in their place a silly seeking
for pleasure and a light-headed lust for excitement. Their rituals far too often savour
of vulgarity and their horse-play verges at times even upon the obscene.
It is upon this sort of thing that these side-orders seek to have set the stamp and seal
of Masonic approval, and we seem content to stand complacently by and let them get
They drag their "politics", their petty piques and quarrels, their disappointed
ambitions to have high-sounding titles, and wear resplendent robes, into the sacred
precincts of the lodge-room, disturb the work of the builders and destroy the peace
and harmony of the Craft.
The sort of men who are won to the Order by this sort of thing do it no good, for they
are not worth having - are not fit material for the building "of the house not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens".
Time was when Masonry was known as "a system of morality veiled in allegory". If
this thing is not checked, how long will it be before it comes to be called a frenzy of
frivolity, fed by folly"?
These "side-orders" scatter Masonry's force. They lower its aims and purposes,
destroy its ancient dignity and blur the vision of its lofty ideals. They tend inevitably
to wreck its power and influence by destroying its solidarity, and threaten to take
away wholly its power to serve mankind.
We are coming to have far too many "play-grounds in Masonry", too much of a rush
for "refreshment" in an institution anciently dedicated to "labour". Masonry is in a
mighty poor business when it feeds modern society's already overwrought passion for
passing pleasures. If there ever was a day when men needed to quit dallying with
delights and attended to business, it is now. For the popular call nowadays seems to
be for the man who will be "a good fellow", who will forget his business, let it slide,
and in the end make of himself an object of Masonic charity.
We are taking far too many men into the Order who do not know what an earnest
thought means, and who care less. Far too many who have neither the brains nor the
desire to seek back of the symbol to the great idea thereby symbolized. These men lie
within the belly of the Order like leaden lumps that will not be digested, and they are
not an asset, but a liability.
And it is these very "side-orders" that lure these light-headed liabilities within our
fold-bad cess to them! and at a time when, God knows! we don't need them, but do
need earnest men.
If by any chance this mushroom growth of these Masonic side-shows results in any
way from a reaction against a humdrum and lifeless recital of the ritual by mechanical
Masons who have no idea of the meaning of the words that glide so glibly from their
lips, then the remedy is not far to seek.
For, as Brother Weston of Vermont has so clearly pointed out, all the lodges need to
do is to make the ritual interesting by means of lectures, readings, discussions and
debates, tending to make its meaning clear; for a man simply cannot put life and force
into the words he utters unless his soul is first set all aglow with their meaning.
That immortal meaning is there, hidden, buried, concealed within the ritual, and our
very salvation depends upon our working it out.
Perhaps if we will do this we will be pouring Paris-green upon these parasites.
But if that doesn't work we may need a new set of Masonic police regulations that
will put these bums in the bastile where they belong.
— o —
Standing for Definite Things
By Bro. GEORGE H. DERN, P. G. M., Utah
Bro. Dem, a Nebraskan by birth, was made a Mason at Salt Lake City, in Utah, in
1897, and received the high honour of the Grand Mastership in that jurisdiction in
1913. Readers will recall a memorable article of his in THE BUILDER, December,
1921, on "Monitorial Symbolism of the Third Degree and its Application to Every
Day Life"; a comparison of that fine piece of interpretation with the discussion below
will show how full-orbed is his comprehension of Freemasonry. An explanation of
why the Towner- Sterling Bill did not pass was contributed to THE BUILDER, May,
1923, by Bro. Senator Simeon D. Fess; in the same number appeared a report of the
attitude of Grand Lodges toward that bill. In connection with these studies the reader
should review the special Public School Number of August, 1922.
Doubtless it has occurred to many Masons as somewhat strange that Masonry
generally throughout the United States has until lately been advocating a specific
piece of legislation, namely the Towner- Sterling Bill. Perhaps some good brethren
may think this a violation of the section in most if not all Masonic codes which
provides that "the discussion of political, sectarian or other subjects not strictly of a
Masonic character is prohibited in every lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction." In the hope
of clearing up any such doubts or misgivings the following observations are
It sometimes happens in the lives of men that they are in the midst of a great change
or evolution without realizing it. They are so engrossed with their immediate
personal affairs, so bound by custom and established routine, or regard their old
views and opinions as so obvious, that they do not see or comprehend the big
movements that are carrying mankind along with them. When such tendencies
become perceptible they may be deplored by persons of a conservative cast of mind
who venerate the past as the repository of all wisdom and are shocked when "God lets
loose a thinker in the world" who proposes something new to meet new conditions.
But progress is the law of all nature, and the world moves forward, not backward,
despite our puny efforts to check it.
There are signs of a change in the attitude of Freemasonry. Those of us who have
been Masons long enough to have become thoroughly indoctrinated know that it has
always been deemed improper to commit Masonry to any specific program except the
program of brotherly love. It has been the rule that in all public matters Masons,
though imbued with and guided by Masonic precepts and ideals, should act as
individuals, each according to his own judgment, and never as a united organization.
MASONRY SHOULD STAND FOR DEFINITE THINGS
During the past few years, however, many Masonic leaders have been laying
particular stress upon the necessity of Masonry standing for definite things, and
presenting a united front in advancing those things. Very many Masons who do not
pretend to be leaders in the Craft complain that it is hard for one who is not an officer
to keep up an active interest in Masonry because we do not stand for anything
concrete. They say that merely coming to lodge and seeing the same old degrees
conferred over and over and over again be comes tiresome to a man with an active
intellect; that for gathering in social functions to reiterate what fine thing Masonry is
and what fine fellows Masons are does not result in any real accomplishment, and
that we ought to be more than a mere mutual admiration society; that Masonry is a
great, big, clumsy animal that does not know what to do with itself nor how to use its
The average Mason will readily agree with these sentiments; but as for having
Masonry stand for definite things, that is a delicate matter and must be handled
discreetly. The oldtimers who put in our codes the provision that political, sectarian
or other subjects not strictly of a Masonic character should not be discussed in lodge
were very wise, and assuredly it is not proposed by anybody to abandon that time
honoured policy, upon which our fellowship rests, and which is our strength and
About strictly Masonic principles there can be no difference of opinion among us, and
they may be safely discussed with the utmost freedom, as well as their application to
our every day problems. But when we get into public questions we at once plunge
into controversial matters, about which Masons will differ as widely and as violently
as outsiders. I cannot attack a man's pet opinions without hurting his self-esteem, and
when 1 do that I make him angry. If I assail his political or religious beliefs he gets
just as angry as he does when I make slighting remarks about his children or his
automobile. Our opinions are our property, and the most natural thing in the world is
to defend what belongs to us, and to resent any attempt to destroy or belittle it. For
example, suppose someone in a Masonic meeting should undertake to make a speech
against the protective tariff, which many good Masons sincerely consider as sacred as
the holy Grail. Immediately peace and harmony would beat a hasty retreat, and the
meeting would blow up with a loud report. Suppose we should declare against the
right of working men to strike. Many good, sincere Masons might think such a
declaration right and proper, whilst many other equally good and sincere Masons
would regard it as a vital blow at their fundamental human rights. And so our
unanimity and concord would vanish, and we should speedily be divided into
wrangling, jangling cliques and factions. Clearly we must be careful to do nothing
that might destroy us from within.
WE DON'T WANT MASONRY TO RUN THE COUNTRY
But the danger of disintegrating Masonry itself is not the only objection. We do not
want to see Masonry, as an organized body, undertake to run the whole country, any
more than we want to see the Roman Catholic Church or the Ku Klux Klan run the
country, because it would be unamerican. In a democracy all the people should rule,
not a select class or sect, even though that class be so high-minded a body of men as
the Masons. Furthermore, no organization whose sessions and deliberations are
secret, as ours are, has any right to try to dominate public affairs, because "popular
government moves in the light of day, not in dark and secret places; it appeals to the
whole mass of people for support, not merely to the members of a particular society;
and it values power only for public ends, not for the aggrandizement and glorification
of any single institution." And so it would be a gross perversion of our lofty
pretensions as upright, liberty- loving Americans if we were to organize as a national
body for the purpose of dictating or controlling the affairs of the nation, no matter
how pure our intentions might be.
However, it is a proper function of Masonry to fight against other organizations doing
this very thing, and that is one of the reasons why Masons are always interested in
progressive educational legislation; but let us be very careful about building up a
powerful machine that would be certain sooner or later to abuse its power.
And so this suggestion of standing for something definite has its pitfalls, and we
cannot afford to be too definite. Or perhaps it would be better to say we ought to be
very definite in limiting the scope of our united action. But there are plenty of things
in the fundamental Masonic principles that have a direct and broad public
significance, and in the support of which all Masons can afford to unite and battle
side by side.
As Masons we are seekers after Light-that is, knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment. If
Light is good for us it is good for everybody, and we can engage in no greater work
than the diffusion of Light amongst all the people - that is, public education. So when
Masonry interests itself in education it is interesting itself in a subject that is not and
should not be political in the sense of being controversial; a subject that is not and
should not be sectarian, and never will be so long as Masons can prevent it; a subject
strictly of a Masonic character, since it is of the very essence of Masonry.
Moreover, one of the primary teachings of Freemasonry is good citizenship, and we
have not only a right but a duty to be interested in anything that promotes good
citizenship. What is the real purpose of our free public school system but to train the
children for citizenship? What other justification is there for taxing me to educate my
So there you have the syllogism:
Masonry stands for good citizenship.
Education promotes good citizenship.
Therefore, Masonry stands for education.
He would be a captious critic indeed who would deny a Masonic lodge the right to
discuss public education, or even a single concrete phase of it, as expressed in a
specific piece of legislation.
— o —
The Story of Freemasonry in New Jersey
By Bro. ERNEST A. REED, P. G. M., New Jersey
To tell the story of Masonry in the State of New Jersey one must go back to the
beginning of duly constituted Masonry in the New World. All available records seem
to show that modem Freemasonry was formally introduced into the American
colonies by Daniel Cox, or Coxe, who on June 5, in the year 1730, received a
deputation from the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons
of England, appointing him Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of New York,
New Jersey and Pennsylvania in America.
The original deputation, which is on file in the archives of the Grand Lodge of
England, gives Brother Coxes residence as New Jersey; and of this there can be no
doubt for the histories and records of our state also bear witness of this fact.
Moreover, Provincial Grand Master Coxe was an important personage in the
province. He was the son of Dr. Coxe of London, one of the great proprietors. He
was a member of the old New Jersey assembly and at one time its speaker. He served
for many years as Chief Magistrate and upon his death was buried at Burlington, New
Just what steps Coxe took to establish lodges in America is not very clear. The
records of the Grand Lodge of England do not show the appointment of any Deputy
Grand Master or other officers of a Provincial Grand Lodge, nor the congregating of
Masons into lodges; but records were not very well kept in those days, nor was it the
custom to report all proceedings to the Grand Lodge, and it is possible that some of
the old lodges in Pennsylvania were instituted by him. Perhaps his failure to establish
lodges in the province of New Jersey may have been due in a measure to the
Provincial Governor, Lord Combury, whose unpopularity in America led to his
recall. Yet Coxe was known throughout the province as an eminent lawyer and upon
his return to England in 1731 he was received in the Grand Lodge of England as "The
Right Worshipful Grand Master of North America."
English records show in addition to Coxes appointment as Provincial Grand Master in
1730, Richard Riggs appointed in 1737 and Francis Goelet in 1751. There were other
Grand Lodges in England at this time and other Provincial Grand Masters were sent
by them to America. In 1753 George Harrison became Provincial Grand Master of
New York and from him the first lodge in New Jersey got its charter. In May, 1761,
an application for a lodge was made to Provincial Grand Master Harrison by a
number of Masons residing in what was then the town of Newark. William Tukey,
Esq., was appointed the first Worshipful Master and the lodge was to meet at the
Rising Sun tavern, a tiny inn near what is now the heart of a great city.
The original minutes of this famous lodge for the years from its institution are still in
existence in the archives of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Newark. From 1764 till 1768
the minutes were suspended. In 1769 they were reopened again, continuing till 1772.
During the darkness of the Revolution they ceased altogether. When the Grand
Lodge of New Jersey was formed St. John's Lodge was represented and a warrant was
given to it which was numbered 2 on the New Jersey register, a lodge at Bedminster
which had been warranted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1767 being given
No. 1. The lodge at Bedminster became extinct, however, and St. John's Lodge was
allowed to assume its number. St. John's Lodge is still active and known throughout
the length and breadth of the land as the oldest lodge in New Jersey and one of the
oldest in America. In 1762 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts gave a
warrant for a lodge in Elizabeth Towne, New Jersey (now Elizabeth) and in 1763 a
warrant was given by the same Grand Lodge for a lodge at Prince Towne (now
Princeton), but both of these lodges have become extinct and their records lost.
MANY MILITARY LODGES EXISTED
Many lodges were in existence in the armed forces of the Revolution. New Jersey
lying as it did between two greater fields of operation, New York and Philadelphia,
became a concourse across which the contending armies marched, sometimes in
victory, often in retreat. The Lecestershire Regiment, or the British 1 7th Regiment of
Foot, as it was commonly called, had a famous lodge known as Unity Lodge. During
Washington's hasty retreat across New Jersey following the abandonment of Fort Lee
on the Hudson River he was closely followed by the British, and this regiment was a
part of the pursuing force. Washington's march led through Newark, Elizabeth, New
Brunswick, Princeton to Trenton, where he crossed the Delaware River into
Pennsylvania. The British 1 7th Regiment stopped at Princeton, occupying the college
town. The rest of the British Army, including Rail's regiment of Hessians, marched
on to Trenton.
Washington's recrossing of the Delaware on Christmas night and his thrilling victory
over the Hessians at Trenton needs no recital here; nor does that other exploit when,
the British believing they had him cornered, rested for the night, and awoke to the
sound of cannon and musket fire at Princeton, twelve miles away, and realized that
Washington had escaped.
The British had waited the arrival of reinforcements. These included in part the 1 7th
Regiment of Foot, which had received orders to march from Princeton to Trenton at
dawn. As they filed out of town over a little bridge, they saw Mercer's Division of
Washington's army moving up the opposite bank of the stream. Both forces tried to
reach and hold the top of a small hill nearby, which became the scene of the battle.
The advance was led by General Hugh Mercer, a member of Washington's own
lodge, Fredericksburg Lodge, No. 4, of Fredericksburg, Va. In the fighting General
Mercer was knocked from his horse by a blow from the butt of a British musket; but
he defended himself until mortally wounded. He died in a farm house near by.
In the confusion of the fighting and British retreat an American soldier, one of four
men left of Major Haslett's command from Delaware, picked up on the battlefield the
warrant which had been granted to Unity Lodge in the British 176 Regiment of Foot
by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The warrant was carried back to Delaware and
reposes in the archives of Union Lodge of Middletown. In this engagement the
gallant captain of the 17th Regiment, Brother William Leslie, was wounded. By
order of Washington he was cared for by the American surgeons and placed with the
American wounded in the farm wagons which served for ambulances in those days.
As the little army after its victory wound its way through the hills of western New
Jersey, Leslie died and was buried with military honours, and, as tradition tells us,
with Masonic ceremonies in the graveyard in the little town of Pluckamin.
A new warrant to replace the one lost in battle was later given the British regiment by
a Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and this in turn fell into the hands of the forces of
General Wayne, "Mad Anthony," at the time of the surprise and capture of Stony
Point, New York, the British regiment at that time forming a part of the garrison; but
the warrant was courteously returned by General Samuel H. Parsons, a member of
American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line.
There were lodges among the American troops and three at least among the forces
that made up the New Jersey line. Perhaps the best known military lodge on the
American side was American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line, as its name
indicates, a lodge formed among the troops from Connecticut. The warrant and
minutes of this lodge are preserved among the records of the Grand Lodge of
Connecticut; but at the time this lodge came into being there was no Grand Lodge of
Connecticut and the warrant was granted by Deputy Grand Master Gridley of
Massachusetts, the same Gridley who laid out the breastworks at Bunker Hill and
who was acting Grand Master on account of the death in battle of Grand Master
Joseph Warren. The minutes are well kept and show every location of the
LAFAYETTE VISITS A LODGE
This lodge is referred to here because of its famous session of Dec. 27, 1779, while
the American Army lay in winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey. It was a
celebration of the old Masonic festival, the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. The
minutes of the lodge give every detail of this meeting. The records show sixty-nine
persons present, one of whom was Washington, the Commander-in-Chief. There was
a procession, banquet, addresses and a general good time. Some of the lodge
paraphernalia used on this occasion was borrowed from St. John's Lodge of Newark,
and the old minute book of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, has a record of the fact that
"Sundrie articles were taken out of the lodge chest and lent to Brother Thomas
Kinney and Brother Jerry Brewin to carry as far as Morris Towne, etc." There has
always been a tradition that Lafayette was made a Mason on this occasion and a well-
known history of New Jersey as well as a recently published and popular work on
Masonry state this as a fact. There is no record to substantiate it, however, and the
list of those present, while including the names of many prominent persons in the
armed forces of the Revolution, does not include the name of the distinguished
Frenchman; moreover, the statement made by Lafayette himself on the occasion of
his visit to the Grand Lodge of Delaware as related in the memoirs of the beloved Dr.
Chaytor, who was present on that occasion, seems to prove beyond question that
Lafayette was made a Mason in a military lodge in the American Army at Valley
Unfortunately, many of the old lodge records have been lost, but those that remain
reveal interesting details of Colonial life. The old minute book of Burlington Lodge
shows that the Masons of Burlington paid the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for the
warrant of Burlington Lodge a fee of "2,160 Doll's Cn'l Curr'y", which seems an
enormous sum to pay for a warrant; but when we note it is to be paid in Continental
currency we realize that this is simply an evidence of the extraordinary depreciation
of the currency of the time. Later on we find that the lodge reimbursed the members
for the amount advanced to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and an appropriation of
six pounds was sufficient to meet the need.
On Dec 18, 1796, a convention was called at New Brunswick for the purpose of
establishing a Grand Lodge in the state of New Jersey. The officers selected on that
occasion included the following, whose names and titles are given as they appear on
the old record:
"The Hon. David Brearly, Esq., Chief Justice of New Jersey: Right Worshipful Grand
"The Hon. Robert Lettis Hooper, Vice-President of New Jersey: Deputy Grand
"William Leedle, Esq., late High Sheriff of Morris: Senior Grand Warden.
"Daniel Marsh, Esq., Representative in the Assembly of New Jersey: Junior Grand
"John Noble Cumming, Esq., late Colonel in the Army of the United States: Grand
"Masked Ewing, Jun., Esq., Clerk of the General Assembly of New Jersey: Deputy
"Joshua Corshon, Esq., High Sheriff of Hunterdon: Grand Treasurer."
The second session of this body convened at New Brunswick on Jan. 30, 1787, and at
this time the present Grand Lodge of New Jersey came into being. Hon. David
Brearly was elected Grand Master, an office to which he was re-elected for three
successive years. At the session of July, 1787, the Grand Master was absent; but a
letter from him was read which shows that he was at the time representing New
Jersey in the Federal Convention at Philadelphia. Brearly had been a Lieutenant
Colonel in the army of the Revolution and was a warm personal friend of
Washington. He was a member of the state and federal conventions, and his signature
appears on the Constitution of the United States. For nine years he was Chief Justice
of New Jersey.
The history of Masonry in New Jersey under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey has
been devoid of events of unusual interest; peace and harmony have prevailed.
Masonry has grown numerically till the Grand Master of New Jersey presides today
over nearly 75,000 members of our Craft congregated into some 240 lodges. A
number of years ago the Grand Lodge purchased a handsome estate near Burlington
for the purpose of providing a home for feeble and indigent Masons and their wives,
or their widows or orphans. The buildings have been added to from time to time, and
at present extensive alterations and additions are in progress which will add greatly to
the comfort and convenience of our aged and youthful guests. Our present family
consists of about 130 persons, one-third of whom are boys and girls. Additional
property has been purchased from time to time and today the home includes a farm of
150 acres, all under cultivation.
Masons in New Jersey are deeply interested in all activities of the Craft throughout
the land, and have entered wholeheartedly and substantially into the great national
Masonic movements; the George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Association, the National Masonic Research Society, and the Masonic Service
— o —
The Lost Word
By Bro. ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
There are many who can kindle the emotions, and more still who can arouse the
passions, but few who know how to set the mind aglow. Brother Parker, who
contributed a memorable article to THE BUILDER last May, is one of these. The
present article is one of a series of three bearing the general title "Secrets of the
Temple," and is here printed by permission of Brother George K. Staples, 33 degree,
Commander of Buffalo Consistory, who arranged to publish the series in book form.
The same series has been translated into Italian and is now appearing under the
imprint of the Grand Lodge of Italy. The two companion studies will appear in these
pages in due time, and will be followed by a discussion of the Swastika, now being
written especially for THE BUILDER. The Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction, has
signalized its appreciation of Brother Parker's services in leading his brethren to think
Masonically by electing him to receive the 33 degree next September. Brother Parker
is now an associate editor of THE BUILDER.
UPON a clay tablet found amid the ruins of an ancient city upon the Euphrates was
found the words of a hymn - a hymn about a Word. The song is old, five thousand
years old, and perhaps twenty-five centuries older than any Hebrew scripture, and, in
any event, it antedates the final development of those writings. Shall we pause to
The Word that causes the heavens on high to tremble,
The Word that makes the world below to quake,
The Word that bringeth destruction to the Annunakis,
His Word is beyond the diviner, beyond the seer!
His Word is a tempest without a rival.
The Word of the Lord the heavens cannot endure,
The Word of Enlil the earth cannot endure,
The heavens cannot endure the stretching forth of His hand,
The earth cannot endure the setting forth of His foot!
Here we have an ancient hymn of Babylon in which the wise priesthood of a great
religion sang praises to a word. But what this word is we are not told, yet the word is
mighty. The adjustment and the readjustment of the Babylonian pantheon was
nothing else than an effort to discover the key- word of the world. Nor was the effort
of Egypt with its grotesque procession of zoomorphic deities anything less.
And so religions have come and gone, through darkness, superstition and ignorance,
striving to find the great secret of welfare and the magical potence that once
possessed should be the secret that would unlock the doors of the invisible.
The mystic's search for the great name that shall open all things is as old as man. The
mystic still believes that there is a divine mystery concealed in some word, and all
through the ages he has thought that he should discover that name. The Hindoo sage
pronounces the word AUM, and in it feels that he has a key-word to paradise. Even
when, by revelation, the gods tell their names, man has believed that the real name
was concealed either totally or within the enigma of the name or in its numerical
value. Thus within the name Elohina (Elhim) the mystic finds the number 3.1415,
and asserts that Elhim is the master word by which the circle of eternity may be
All ancient names are studied by the Kabbalists for their esoteric numerical value.
The letters of the alphabet are also given values in other terms. Thus the sacred word
spelled Aleph-Vau-Mem (AUM) would mean: A = Man + Power; U = Creation +
Passage; M = Woman + Mother. This word is a mystic triad by which creative
energy is invoked, but in a spiritual sense.
The mystic name makers, therefore, in making names sought to choose letters that
had certain values and certain numbers. Now the numbers of a name might be added
so as to produce another number, for example: Solomon would in Graeco-Egyptian
have the literal value of S-L-M-N. S=60; L=30; M=40; N=50. These numbers added
give 180. This reduced becomes a series of 20 nines. Nine is the perfect number and
is three times three. "The sound of the voice" - such is the meaning of 180, but nine
means "My shield and protection". Again let us interpret each letter of this word S-L-
M-N. S=60, means a circle commenced. L=30, means the expansion of the circle.
M=40, means an uninterrupted continuation (feminine passivity). N-50, means a final
extension, a conclusion.
Let us still further examine this mystical name of Solomon. The word plainly says, I
am a circular line, extended, continued and concluded. It says, moreover, that it
consists of four parts, of the following measures: 60, 30, 40, 50. These total 180, or
the number of degrees in a half circle. Therefore, the circle is divided into the
number of degrees indicated; i.e., 60+30=90; 40+50=90. Whether this is geometrical
or astronomical matters little, for from a study of these angles we can work out, if we
have the taste, a whole scheme of Solomonic wisdom. The best interpretation is that
the word represents the rising of the sun in the east (Sol), that it passes the morning of
S and L and arrives at zenith between L and M (OM), and sets in the west beyond M
and N, or ON, and ON is the city or abode of the Sun, the Egyptian name for
This example is not introduced to mystify or to create the idea that some mysterious
doctrine lies behind every name, for most names are so corrupted from the original
forms that they cannot easily be analyzed Kabbalistically now. We merely introduce
this name to emphasize that the ancients had meanings back of names, and that these
meanings might often be discovered. Yet, if a mystical name of a god did conceal a
secret, it was so devised that a key-name was used before the real name could be
discovered. Thus a man named Solomon might have hidden his name under a
substitute word and called himself Davidson, Wiseman, or Jedidiah or some similar
name, by which it might be harder to divine the mystery of his "Word" or to "get his
Masons are given a new name at the beginning of their initiation into the mysteries,
but this name only suggests the real new name that they are to have. The real name
comes only to him who overcometh and who hath eaten of the hidden manna. It is
then that he receives a white stone and in the stone a "new name" written. (Rev. ii,
17.) Nor must it be thought that there are not those who have eaten of the "hidden
manna" and who know their new names.
Veneration of names has not entirely ceased even in civilization. Each of us desires
to keep his name "good", for "a good name is rather chosen than fine ointment", "but
the name of the wicked shall rot".
Many men labour "to make their names known". Men are willing to expend millions
of dollars to spread their names over the face of the globe, as advertisers do, while
others by doing great deeds are pleased to see their names become household words.
Our names are a art of our personality, and this extends even to our signatures. This
is true to such an extent that there are those who pretend to read the character of a
man by his handwriting.
But, how vain it is to strive for the immortality of our names to the neglect of the
immortality of our souls.
And still the search for the unknown Word goes on, and man seeks to discover his
Deity by name. How easily the truth might be known if we would but interpret aright
the text: IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH
GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. The nations of the earth since the first
awakening of man's religious instinct have turned their minds toward heaven and
inquired, "Who is it that has made the earth and all things thereon?" And likewise
men have inquired, "Who shall protect me and give me power, who shall deliver me,
and whom shall I call upon for favour?"
To answer this men evolved names of spirits, of gods, of duads and triads, and sought
by means of these names to discover Deity. Thus it is that man's great quest is to find
God and to know Him. To depict this quest is a task that tempts the author's pen, for
it is a subject of thrilling interest.
Before going far afield, let us look toward the Hebrew Bible, to see how these
scriptures depict the search. Let us scan the first line of Genesis and read from the
Hebrew, itself, "In the beginning Gods created-". But let us be more specific; the
word translated here "gods" is the Hebrew plural word Elohim (Alohim). Let us
pause; why should the scriptures say "gods"? The answer is not afar off; the ancient
Hebrews had more than one god!
Every critical scholar admits this and seeks to enlighten us upon the ancient Hebrew
pantheon. But we need not go afar to see that even the scriptures as we have them
also admit this.
But in this word El (o) him we have the root Al, El, II, and in that word we have the
whole religious history of Babylon and Semitic Asia Minor of antiquity.
This word al means "turning toward" and further elucidation, as suggested by
Professor Delitzch, shows that it means "that which a man, turns toward as a goal."
The ancient thought of their gods as dwelling up above in the place toward which
man turns his eyes in and above the sky. A Babylonian hymn calls the sun-god "the
goal toward which all the eyes of the inhabitants are turned". (Cf. Job xxxvi, 25.) So,
following this idea, the oldest of Semites gave to the God-one who dwelt above and
ruled the sky world the name il or el. It was He to whom they looked.
The worship of II or El by the early North Semitic tribes as well as to the south was
an established fact as early as 2500 B.C., 1300 years before the rise of the religion of
In later times these Els or Elohim were conceived as plural beings, duads and triads
and more. Suffice to relate that the names of the early Hebrew gods were many and
all of the local gods or baals, and particularly Ashtar and Yerahme'el. These to the
Hebrews were all Elohim, just as to the northern Semites of Palestine they were
Baalhim or baals. The word El, or Al, was a far-spread name and from it the
Arabians took the name of their Deities, and later the Mohammedans used it in
constructing their word for God - Allah.
Cheyne points out an interesting origin for the name El and ascribes it to the
Phoenician aim. This word was used as the title of the chief god of the Phoenician
trinity who was Yerahme'el. The title may have been thus applied but as a word it
was used far earlier than this special application of it.
In the historical fragments that we have given we have only indicated the world
search, age-long, for the "lost word". In the new dispensation we are given a clear
vision of how we may discover that word and apply it. Lost? Why should it ever
have been lost? In all ages there have been those who possessed that word, but these
have been the few who had paid the price of leam. It was folly, to think that this
"word" could ever be communicated by word of mouth or by outward sign, for it can
be known only from one source and by one means.
In ancient Freemasonry under the old operative system there were three masters
sitting in the west, "thereby better enabling them to observe the rising of the sun in
the east". Each master bore a rod as the symbol of his office. Each rod was of
different length, as follows: Solomon's rod was five units in length, Hiram of Tyre's
four units, and Hiram Abiff s three units.
According to Masonic tradition upon each rod was a name, just such sort of names as
Chapter Masons use, though not the same names by any means.
By the use of the rods, placed end to end, a right angle triangle can be formed. For
example, rods of three inches, four inches and five inches placed end to end in the
form of a triangle will form a perfect right angle at the point where rod 4 meets rod 3.
Rod 5 makes the hypotenuse.
Now according to our ancient traditions upon the slain Hiram's rod was the full name
of Deity, or perhaps the first and most important syllable. His rod was essential not
only in forming the ineffable word but in completing the right angle.
It was Hiram Abiff s rod for which the Craftsmen were instructed to search, and not a
square. The early ritual makers have erred, I think, in making a square the implement
Thus is explained the calamity that is depicted in our third degree, but the ritual as
evolved since 1717 has obscured and even mutilated the secrets as well as the
meanings of more ancient rites.
An actual word was lost and with it one of the three standards of Solomon's system of
mensuration. Little wonder that Andonairam received a place of honour succeeding
Hiram, for only Adonairam could make another metal rod equal to that which was
lost, but oven he could not engrave upon it the lost syllable Yah or word Yabweh.
It is the philosopher who points the way by which we may recover that word, for it is
the real word and not any substitute that makes men and Masons good men and true.
And when we have given ourselves as the price, the name enters our hearts; and when
it so enters it becomes an impulse that translates itself in the expression of a life.
— o —
The Grand Master of England
By Bro. DUDLEY WRIGHT, England
The Grand Master of England, reigning as he does over the United Grand Lodge and
all its dependencies, is the most widely known and influential individual, no doubt, in
the Masonic world, a brother of whom Masons everywhere delight to hear and to
honor, as much for his record as statesman and soldier as for the high place he holds
in the Craft. Thinking that readers of THE BUILDER would be interested to see a
biographical sketch of England's Grand Master, we asked Bro. Wright to contribute
the article given herewith.
It is in order in this same connection to say that Bro. Wright himself is becoming
more and more taxed to respond to the demands being made on his pen. His name
appears in journals here, there and everywhere over the English speaking world with
amazing frequency, and always in connection with a solid contribution to Masonic
literature. How he manages to do it all is a mystery to his fellow scribes. May he be
spared to keep at it for many a year to come!
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught
and Strathearn, Earl of Sussex in the Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was bom at
Buckingham Palace, London, on the 1st of May, 1850.
He entered the Army in 1868, was promoted Captain in 1871, Major in 1875,
Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876, Colonel in 1880, Major-General in the same year,
Lieutenant-General in 1889, General in 1893, and Field-Marshal in 1902. He is
Colonel-in-Chief of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, the Highland Light Infantry, the
Rifle Brigade, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and the Supply and Transport Corps. He is
also Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and the Army Service Corps, Honorary Colonel
of the South Irish Horse, the Royal East Kent Yeomanry, the Duke of Connaught's
Own Sligo Royal Field Reserve Artillery, 6th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 3rd
Battalion the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 3rd and 4th Battalions
Highland Light Infantry, the 1 8th County of London Battalion, and the London
Regiment (London Irish Rifles). His Royal Highness is also Colonel-in-Chief of the
following regiments of the Indian Army: The 13th Duke of Connaught's Lancers, the
31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers, the 7th Duke of Connaught's Own Rajputs,
and the 129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis. He was Brigade-Major at
Aldershot in 1873-4; Brigade-Major, Cavalry Brigade, Aldershot, 1875; Assistant
Adjutant-General, Gibraltar, 1875-6; Brigadier-General, Aldershot, 1883; Major-
General Bengal, 1883 to 1886; Lieutenant-General, Bombay, 1886-1890; Lieutenant-
General, Southern District, 1890-1896; Lieutenant-General Commanding in Troops at
Aldershot, 1893-1896; General Commanding the Forces in Ireland, 1900-1904;
General Commanding the 3rd Army Corps, 1901-1904; Inspector General of the
Forces and President of the Selection Board, 1904-1907; Field-Marshal
Commanding-in-Chief and High Commissioner in the Mediterranean, 1907-1909, and
was appointed Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of
Canada in 1911, which position he held until 1916.
The Duke of Connaught saw service in Canada during the Fenian Raid in 1870 and
received the Medal and Clasp. He commanded the Brigade of Guards in the Egyptian
War of 1882, and was present at the battles of Mahuta and Tel-el-Kebir, when he was
mentioned in dispatches and was thanked by both Houses of Parliament, receiving the
Medal with Clasp, the Bronze Star, Second Class Order and the Medjidie, and the C.
B. He had the Royal Victorian Chain and is a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the
Garter, of the Most Noble Order of the Thistle, of the Most Illustrious Order of St.
Patrick, Grand Master and Principal Knight of the Grand Cross of the Most
Honorable Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order
of the Star of India, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint
Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of
the Indian Empire, and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. He is also a
Knight of the Golden Fleece of Spain, Knight of Saint Andrew of Russia, of the
Annunciata of Italy, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Legion of Honor of France,
of the Chrysanthemum of Japan, of the Seraphim of Sweden, of the Tower and Sword
of Portugal and of the Spanish Military Order of Merit.
Oxford has conferred upon him the Doctorate of Civil Law, while Cambridge and the
Cape Universities gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws, and the Punjab University
gave him the Doctorate of Literature.
HIS MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
On the 13th of March, 1879, His Royal Highness married Princess Louise Margaret
Alexandra Victoria Agnes of Prussia, third daughter of the late Prince Frederick
Charles of Prussia, and brethren will remember his grief at her death on 14th March,
1917. There were three children of the marriage, the eldest, Brother Prince Arthur
Frederick Patrick Albert, K.G., K.T., P.C., who was appointed Past Grand Warden in
1914, was bom on the 13th of January, 1883. He married the Princess Alexandra
Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise, Duchess of Fife, on 15 th October, 1913. The elder of
the two daughters, Princess Margaret Victoria Augusta Charlotte Norah, married in
1905 H. R. H. Prince Gustavus Adolphus, Crown Prince of Sweden, and her sudden
death, on the seventieth anniversary of her father's birth, came as a terrible blow to
the Grand Master. The marriage of the younger daughter to Commander Ramsay, in
the spring of 1919, when, of her own free will, she abandoned the rank and title of
Princess, preferring to be known as Lady Patricia Ramsay, is well within the memory
The occurrence of the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the Duke of Connaught
gave an opportunity for a display on the part of the press, all over the world, as the
representative of public opinion, to bear testimony, not only to his popularity, but also
to the eminent services he had rendered to the nation throughout the whole of this
public career. A writer in The Times said:
"The Duke of Connaught was born on May Day, 1850, seventy years ago. Not only in
the United Kingdom, but in many distant parts of the Empire, large numbers of the
King's subjects will join this morning with real sincerity in the good wishes of his
family and near kinsmen. For longer than most of us can remember, during the reigns
of his mother, his brother and his nephew, the Duke has been a well-known and most
popular figure in the life of the country, and both as a man and a soldier has won for
himself an abiding place in its affections.
"The great interest of his life has always been the Army. From its guns to its gaiter-
buttons, from the standpoint of a Woolwich cadet to that of a Field-Marshal, he
knows it through and through. He has served in turn as engineer, gunner, rifleman,
Dragoon and Hussar. At Tel-el-Kebir he commanded the Brigade of Guards, and
during the campaign was three times mentioned in despatches; in 1886 he was
appointed to the post of Commander-in-Chief at Bombay, and afterwards commanded
the troops at Aldershot, in Ireland, and in the Mediterranean, where he was also High
Commissioner; from 1904 to 1907 he held the post of Inspector-General of the
Forces, and during the war was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Volunteers and
Inspector of Oversea Troops. He would certainly have succeeded the Duke of
Cambridge as Commander-in-Chief if that dignified office had not been abolished. As
it is, he remains a Field-Marshal, a real friend to the Army, and a practical and
devoted soldier who for fifty-two years has worthily upheld the military - but never
militarist - traditions of his godfather, the great Duke of Wellington.
“That, however, is only one side of his life and character. He is deeply interested in
the social welfare of the! people, as well as of the Army, and is a generous supporter
of charitable and benevolent schemes for the benefit of his fellow citizens in the
Home Country. As for the Empire, he has always shown himself its loyal and hard-
working servant, more especially in South Africa and Canada. His work in Canada as
Governor-General was of particular value, and the fruits of it were plainly visible
during the Prince of Wales' tour in the Dominion. When he went there, fears were
expressed in certain quarters as to the wisdom of the appointment of a Royal Duke. It
was felt that some independent spirits might regard the establishment of a reign of
Court etiquette as an unwelcome innovation. But when the Royal Duke was found to
be human, Canada took him and his family to her heart, and his unfailing tact and
tireless interest in all the problems and activities of the Dominion soon made him a
general favorite. In consenting to an extension of his term of office during the war,
when his experience as a soldier was of so much service to those who were engaged
in the enrollment and training of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he put his own
feelings in the background, in spite of his consideration for the delicate health of the
Duchess, and so added to the debt which the Dominion as well as the Mother Country
already owed him.
"He is, above all, a man of unfailing energy, who always must be doing something.
No sooner has one appointment or one journey come to an end than he has embarked
on another. Not only during the war, when, like the whole of the Royal Family, from
King and Queen downwards, he set a fine example of unswerving and unselfish
devotion to duty, but throughout his life he has constantly been at the disposal of his
country. He has still, we may hope, in all human probability, many years of happy
and useful life in front of him, and he is today what he has always been, a fine pattern
of an upright and honourable English gentleman, who has well earned the feelings of
respect and affection with which his fellow-countrymen regard him."
On the same day many other tributes appeared in the daily press all over the world.
The Westminster Gazette wrote:
"All good wishes will go with the Duke of Connaught today on the attainment of his
seventieth birthday. In the Army, in public life, as Commander-in-Chief in the
Mediterranean, and still more in his later period as Governor-General of Canada, the
Duke has done whatever duty has fallen to him with a zeal and thoroughness that
have won him a place in the affection of the people of the Empire. Quietly and
efficiently he has illustrated the real service that can be given to the State by a
member of the Royal Family not in the direct line of succession who brings brains
and good will to his tasks. His career in the Army was fruitful of much good, but we
think today less of the soldier than of the great gentleman whose whole life has been
one of devoted service. It was a happy chance that the Duke of Connaught was
Governor-General of Canada when war broke out. The Dominion required no
stimulus to exertion, but was much in need of the expert guidance that the Duke could
give from his long experience in the Army, and that he placed at the disposition of the
Canadian Government whole-heartedly."
HIS INTEREST IN FREEMASONRY
Those who have been privileged to attend any of the many Masonic gatherings at
which the Grand Master was present can bear willing witness to his deep interest in
all Craft doings, over whose affairs in England he has presided with such distinction
for so many years, but the Grand Master was at his best, perhaps, when presiding over
one of the lodges of which he was the permanent Master. An incident of a very
homely character took place a few years since, on the occasion of the installation of
the Duke of Connaught as Worshipful Master of the Royal Colonial Institute Lodge,
No. 3556, at Freemasons' Hall. He not only invested his Deputy Master, to whom it
was thought he would delegate the investiture of the other officers, but insisted on his
right to invest all his officers, Tyler included, to their great pride and delight.
Right from the time of his initiation the Duke of Connaught has taker the keenest
interest in all matters appertaining to the Craft. His initiation took place in the Prince
of Wales Lodge, No. 259, on 24th March, 1874, the ceremony being performed by his
royal brother, H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, then Worshipful Master of the lodge,
afterwards King Edward VII. He passed on to the next degree on 22nd June, 1874,
and completed the steps of his admission into the Craft on 27th April of the following
year, the day immediately preceding that on which the Prince of Wales was installed
as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, at which ceremony the Duke
of Connaught had the honor and privilege of being present. He became an active
member of other lodges, notably the Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, of which he was
Master in 1881; the Aldershot Army and Navy Lodge, No. 1971; the Navy Lodge,
No. 2612; the Jubilee Masters' Lodge, No. 2712; the Nil Sine Lahore Lodge, No.
2736; the Old Wellingtonian Lodge, No. 3404, and the Royal Colonial Institute
Lodge, already mentioned, of most of which he is the permanent Master.
In 1877 the Duke was invested Senior Grand Warden of England, and his younger
brother, the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was at the same time appointed
Junior Grand Warden, but the only occasion on which the three royal brothers were
present at the same time at a communication of the Grand Lodge was at an
Emergency Meeting held on 15th March, 1882, to congratulate H. M. Queen Victoria
on her escape from the hands of the assassin. The next important- event in the Duke's
career was his appointment, in 1878, to the office - which he still holds - of Great
Prior of the Order of the Temple in Ireland, and then, after the lapse of a few years, he
was, in 1886, appointed and installed Provincial Grand Master of Sussex. The
installation ceremony took place on 22nd June of that year, in the Dome of the Royal
Pavilion, Brighton, in the presence of one of the largest gatherings of freemasons
ever held in Sussex. The Installing Master was again the Prince of Wales, who was
assisted by the late Lords Herschell and Beresford.
HE LEAVES LOR INDIA
Not long afterwards the Duke of Connaught left England for India, where he had
previously been in command of the Meerut District, to take over the command of the
forces in the Presidency of Bombay, but he was fortunately able to return to England
to take part in the state functions connected with the celebration of the Jubilee of
Queen Victoria as Sovereign of the British Dominions. He was among the Masonic
dignitaries of the Order who attended the memorable meeting in the Royal Albert
Hall, under the auspices of his brother, the Prince of Wales, Grand Master, on 13 th
June, 1887, when an Address of Congratulation was voted to Queen Victoria.
Meanwhile the Duke of Connaught had been appointed to the vacant position of
District Grand Master of Bombay, and had graciously taken charge of the dutiful
Address of Congratulation to the Queen on the attainment of her Jubilee, voted by the
Bombay District Grand Lodge, and he personally presented it to Her Majesty, it being
the only Address, save that voted by Grand Lodge, which was thus honored.
Since 1901 the Duke of Connaught has held the appointment of First Grand Principal
of Royal Arch Masonry and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master
Masons of England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British
Crown. He is Permanent Soverign of the Connaught Chapter of the Antient and
Accepted Rite, meeting at Aldershot, as well as a member of the 33rd degree of that
body, of which he is also the Grand Patron. In Knight Templary he was installed in
the Duke of Connaught and Strathern Preceptory, No. 153, in the United Provinces,
India, and in 1901 he became affiliated with the Connaught Preceptory, No. 172,
meeting at the Officers' Club House, Aldershot, of which he is the permanent
Preceptor. He is also Grand Master of the United Orders of the Temple and Hospital.
His interest in the various Masonic Institutions is no less keen. In 1878 he presided at
the eighteenth anniversary Festival of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys; in 1892
he acted in the same capacity for the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls at the 104th
anniversary Festival, while in 1897 he was pleased to preside at the annual Festival of
the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. He is Patron of all three Institutions. He
has taken a very deep interest in the formation of the Freemasons' War Hospital, and
when this Institution reverted to its original purpose of a Masonic Hospital and
Nursing Home, in 1920, he was the first to welcome the patients and to express a
hope and desire for their well-being.
His first and only personal appeal to the Craft as Grand Master was on the occasion of
the memorable Masonic Peace Celebration, in the Royal Albert Hall, in 1919, when
he originated the appeal for funds to raise a Central Home for Freemasonry in the
metropolis, which should be worthy not only of the Craft in England, as the Mother
Grand Lodge, but be a fitting memorial to the many hundreds of brethren who gave
their lives as a sacrifice in the Great War.
In 1920 the Duke of Connaught took the place of his nephew, Bro. H. R. H. the
Prince of Wales, and went to India as the representative of his King and country.
While there he found time to grant audience to the brethren of the several District
Grand Lodges in India, and thus cemented bonds in the world- wide fraternity. On his
return to England he lost no time in paying a visit to they communication of the
United Grand Lodge of England, when he gave an exceedingly interesting account of
his travels. In the course of his remarks he said:
"I had the very greatest pleasure in visiting the District Grand Lodge of Madras, of
Bengal, of the Punjab and of Bombay and I am sure you would all have felt very
proud and very much touched with the splendid welcome they gave me in each of
those cities. The Masons there were very keen and alert. They were doing their duty,
and were following the great precepts of our Craft. Besides that, they were steadily
increasing in numbers. I know of no part of the British Empire where Masonry can be
of greater use in cementing these good feelings which should exist among the
different nationalities, castes and creeds than the great Empire of India. I am certain,
from all I saw, and you may be gratified to learn it, that everything was in good
working order, and everywhere I found zealousness and keenness. I found that charity
was ever thought of, and that the great precepts of Freemasonry were understood and
carried out in the best possible manner. It was a great satisfaction to me as Grand
Master, to meet the brethren of India again. You will remember that I was District
Grand Master of Bombay for five years, and I found that they had never forgotten me.
They had remembered the different occasions on which I had been with them, and I
can assure you that I was very much touched by the warmth of their reception. Each
lodge insisted on presenting me with a highly valued memento of my visit to their
respective District Grand Lodges.”
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Great Men Who Were Masons
By Bro. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
LUJOS, or Louis, Kossuth, the celebrated Hungarian patriot and liberator, was bom
in Monok, Hungary, in 1802, being Slavic in decent and Lutheran in religion.
Through his father, a lawyer, he obtained a good education, including classic
instruction in the Piarists school at Ujhely, followed by a course at Eperies,
completing with a legal and philosophical training at the college of Patak, in the last
named of which he was fostered in a spirit of hatred for Austria.
Kossuth became well read in history and also in language, knowing the various
Magyar dialects well, and Slovak, German, Lrench and Latin; in later life he became
very proficient in English. After leaving college he rose from one position to another,
early becoming noted as a liberal, was popular with the middle class and was, for a
period, manager of the large estates of the Countess Szapary in Zemplein. In the diet
of 1 832-6 he was proxy for a member in the upper house, possessing in that capacity
a voice but no vote. This experience was of some importance in his career because the
diet ranked among the more important assemblies of modern Hungary; and its
debates, following close upon the Polish tragedy of 183 1, were watched with great
interest by the populace, especially by patriots, although any publication of them was
hindered by severe restrictions. The liberals, the party in opposition, were persuaded
by Kossuth to resort to the extraordinary means of a lithographed newspaper which
they called Orszaggyalesi tudosositasoz, meaning Parliamentary Communications.
Extracts and communications were dictated by Kossuth to a number of copyists who
lithographed the same, and this crude sheet obtained no little circulation. Kossuth
later became connected with another organ, but this venture fell through when the
government prohibited its publication, whereupon he had it placed under the
protection of the County of Pesth; but even so the government again prohibited it. On
May 2, 1837, Kossuth was tried for treason and sentenced to four years in prison. On
account of this move, great agitation developed among the populace so that the
liberals carried the elections for the next diet of 1839-40. Because of this rise in
power they were able to secure the release of Kossuth and some of his fellow
prisoners, a victory for liberal principles which met with many popular
demonstrations and rejoicings.
Kossuth was invited to use the columns of the Pesth-Hirlap (Pesth Journal), a liberal
venture started in January, 1841, with fewer than one hundred subscribers. Within a
very short time he had made this paper so popular that its circulation increased by
thousands and that in spite of the opposition of the aristocracy and the clergy.
Count Stephen Szechenyi, of an old and aristocratic family, denounced Kossuth as a
dangerous agrarian and demagogue, in a book called Relet Nepe (The Prople of the
East). This Count, who was a kind of half liberal, wished to give the people their
liberty as a gift from above; Kossuth demanded it as an inherent right and threatened
to extort it by force if necessary. With public opinion behind him, and encouragement
from some powerful newspapers, Kossuth was able to swing the election of 1843; but
trouble developed in connection with his own paper, the result of which was his
removal from the editor's chair, and the paper was transformed into an organ of the
opposition. The affair was what we would now call a "double cross."
Hungary was exhausted by a tariff cunningly devised to keep it dependent on various
German provinces; this was one of the principal grievances of the mass of the people.
Assisted by some of the nobility who for family or other reasons were opposed to the
Germans, Kossuth formed the Vedegylet (a protective union) the members of which
(both men and women) bound themselves to use only home-made products when
possible. Other societies took a hand in it, and soon a general boycott was declared
against German goods.
When the influences set loose by the French Revolution of 1 848 were at their height,
Kossuth proposed an address to the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria urging the
restoration of Hungary to its former independence. The move was at last successful
and Kossuth was received in the capital with the honors of a liberator. Ferdinand
entrusted Louis Batthyanyi with the forming of an independent Hungarian Ministry in
which Kossuth was made minister of finance. To this office he directed all his
energies, created a treasury, organized a militia, formed many new battalions of-
national soldiery, established armories and generally aroused the spirit of the nation
by proclamations, speeches and articles, many of which he published in a new organ
called Kossuth Hirlapja. But dangers lay ahead. The south of Hungary was torn by
racial struggles, also by religious. As a result of these internal dissensions, the nation
became engaged in a quarrel with Italy, and Jellachich, with a large army, crossed the
River Drave with intent to subdue the country. Many members of the Hungarian
ministry resigned and others fled as the enemy approached the capital.
Russia and Austria joined in so that their combined forces swept all resistance before
them, although Kossuth created an army, raised money and called upon the people to
rally to the defense of their homes. On August 11, 1849, Kossuth resigned his powers
in favor of Gorgey, who surrendered to Russia two days afterward. Kossuth sought
refuge in Turkey from which Austria and Russia sought to capture him by means of
extradition. Turkey, however, encouraged by England and France, resisted the
Russian and Italian threats. After his wife and children had managed to join Kossuth
he was able to get aboard the U. S. Frigate Mississippi at Trieste Sept. 1, 1851, a
vessel sent there by the United States to bring him to this country. He visited
Washington, D. C., in 1852, where he was introduced on the floor of the Senate. He
gave speeches in many cities, including Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore,
Cincinnati and Cleveland. He was made a Mason in Cincinnati Lodge, No. 133,
Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852. His admirers have raised a beautiful monument to his
memory in Cleveland, Ohio, and this has become a shrine for a large number of
Hungarians and their descendants and also for patriotic Americans who know his
story and love him for hip principles.
— o —
The Cable Tow
By Bro. HENRY TAYLOR, Missouri
IN the far off days before what we call civilization began to be man had to combat the
forces of nature with a slender outfit of tools, instruments, and weapons. Each and
every one of the few things he had wherewith to work meant more to him, far more,
than any tool or implement can possibly mean to us. That may be one of the reasons
for the symbolical meaning which came to be attached to so many of the familiar
every-day things used by primitive man. It may be the explanation of the fact that the
fibre or leather rope which was used for countless purposes came to have so great a
significance. Some anthropologists believe that in the long period during which man
was gradually learning to domesticate animals the rope was almost the only means
whereby he was able to control them; accordingly that rope became for him the very
symbol of his mastery of brute nature, and often it stood between him and starvation.
Be this as it may - the theory is reasonable enough - the rope, or cable, or thong, very
early came to have symbolic and mystical meanings, proving that men could use it
with their imagination as well as with their hands.
Ropes, cords, halters, etc., meant many things in ancient religions and secret cults. In
several of the religious cults of Nearer Asia, the region from which radiated so many
of the religious forces that profoundly influenced our own religion, the center of the
cult was a god, usually the sun under a thin disguise, who was once a year hanged to a
tree, there to die for the sake of his people; for that reason the hanging rope became a
sacred thing. When a candidate was initiated in several of the mystery secret cults he
was led into the temple, often a dark cave, with a rope, and, in case he fainted away
from fright, as frequently happened, was dragged out by it. Druid priests often wore a
chain about the neck. Among some Brahmin cults members wore a cord, either about
the waist or the neck, to symbolize their spiritual rebirth. In some of the medieval
courts it was the custom to place a rope about the neck or middle of an accused
person to make him realize that he was at the mercy of the court.
It is probable, judging from the very slender array of facts available, that in nearly all
the secret religions and fraternities of the ancient and medieval world the rope was
used for a more or less practical purpose, though that practical use inevitably came to
be associated with symbolical meanings. Initiation has always been an ordeal, and
must be, and consequently it has usually been necessary to keep the candidate under
There has been much dispute among our scholars as to the origin of the word "Cable
Tow." Some trace it to a German root, others to Dutch, a few to French and a few to a
Hebrew term. Thus far there has been no general agreement among them except that
the term means some kind of a rope that is used for drawing something, as when a
scow is drawn along behind a tug, or a canal boat is dragged by a horse. It is a cable
by which a thing is towed along.
There has been an equal division of opinion as to the meaning and use of the Cable
Tow in Freemasonry. (It never appeared in any dictionary until the Standard was
issued, where it is given as a Masonic term, and even so is erroneously described.)
Albert Pike saw in it nothing but a physical device for managing the candidate. Dr.
Mackey seems to have agreed with Pike. Lawrence saw in it a symbol of the Mystic
Tie. Rowbottom made it to mean Masonic duty, which is the moral tie. Others give
it a quite geometrical meaning and there are others still, as one would guess, who find
in it a thousand occult meanings.
The safest way to work one's self into the meaning of a Masonic symbol is to trace
the history of its use by the fraternity. I believe it is a safe canon of Masonic
interpretation that every symbol is interpreted by its use. In English Masonry of two
hundred years ago the Cable Tow appeared only in the First Degree and then with no
symbolical meaning at all. This would indicate that in the older system of Operative
Masonry it had nothing more than a physical use. This surmise is strengthened by the
fact that in English Speculative Masonry of today the rope appears only in the
Entered Apprentice Degree, and is there explained as being a means for controlling
the body of the candidate.
When we pass over to our American system we discover a significant fact. In the
First Degree the Cable Tow is described in the same way as in the corresponding
section of that degree as worked by our English brethren; but, and this is the
significant matter, it also appears in the Second and Third Degrees, in both of which
it is given a quite symbolical meaning. This appears to prove that the symbolical use
of the Cable Tow grew up among American lodges. Why it grew up there it is
probably impossible to discover, seeing that no records are made of such things, but
we may guess that our brethren added the Cable Tow to the two latter degrees in
order to make the work more symmetrical; that they gave to it such a symbolical
meaning as most naturally occurred to them, and that they let it remain in the First
Degree as it had been in order not to change things more than necessary.
What our brethren had in mind when they gave the Cable Tow a place in our system
of symbols is made perfectly clear, it seems to me, by the few words of interpretation
which are given in each of the two latter degrees. The Cable Tow is the symbol of all
those forces and compulsions which regulate a man's conduct from without; it is not
removed until the man is able to control and govern himself from within. As a
physical thing it is set over in opposition to that Mystic Tie which isn't a physical
thing at all, but inward disposition of the mind and heart. This, if we will consider it
aright, is a summons to examine into certain truths which it is of the utmost
importance to us that we clearly understand.
It is self-evident that men, being as they are, cannot be held together in an orderly
society without the systematic use of force, understanding by force those secular
methods whereby the law enforces itself - police, courts, penitentiaries, fines and the
military system. It is an unfortunate thing that this should be so, for it is the most
barbarous side of social life, but it seems unavoidable, for there are so many men and
women of an unsocial nature who, without the restraint of force, would soon throw
the whole social system into anarchy.
Tolstoy held this to be a fallacy. He believed that if we would do away with
policemen, constables, marshals, courts, armies and navies there might ensue, a
period of disorder but that after a while the normal commonsense of the majority
would reassert itself to restore peace and order. Force degrades our nature. The law's
methods make more criminals than they cure. Armies lead to war. Not to fight the
devil with fire, not to return blow for blow, but to practice non-resistance, that, so it
seemed to him, would lead us all after a time to live a more neighbourly existence.
Many agree with Tolstoy, and more agree with him up to a point, the pacifists for
example; and there is no question but that force does, in a certain way, degrade our
nature, but it must be remembered that social force exists not only to punish crime but
also to regulate the actions of men in a world which is so complicated that no
individual can find his way about in it undirected. Tax laws, for example, are not
penal in their nature but they are necessary, and the great majority would pay no taxes
were they not compelled; and as much may be said of many other matters.
Furthermore, if laws were laid aside, and policemen dismissed, it would not be long
before men, women and children would be kept in control by some other similar
social force so that in the long run little would be gained.
Men must wear the Cable Tow.
But it is all-important in this connection to note that the uses of external force, though
necessary, are very limited, and that because it has no method whatever for
penetrating into the hidden springs of human conduct. It can't get at our motives. It
has no way of controlling our private characters, or of moving the heart. A man may
keep the public laws, at least he may very successfully escape all punishments by law
and yet know nothing of those other laws which wield a different kind of compulsion
and have no power of inflicting punishment of a physical character - the law of
kindliness, of brotherliness, of forgiveness, of love, of purity and righteousness. The
whole system of social force is at best a cumbersome thing which touches life at few
points. It is easily evaded and avoided, and there are whole regions of life where it
cannot come at all.
The man who knows no other law of conduct than that which backs the policeman
and the penitentiary is an inferior man. In the eyes of Freemasonry he is a profane,
one who has never been initiated into the secrets of manhood. Those secrets are in
the heart. They belong to thoughts, ideals, feelings, motives, impulses, aspirations,
hopes and all that world which is hidden away in the soul from which a man's walk
and character are determined. If a man is controlled from without, and doesn't steal
from us merely because the law watches, how are we to know that he will not break
into the house when he thi nk s the law does not see him? If he tells the truth only to
escape losing his business or his reputation, how are we to believe him when these
things are absent? If his conduct is regulated by forces outside himself, will he be or
do, how are we to know what he will be or do, when he chances to come into some
place, those external forces are not operative? Such a man is one who is led about by
a Cable Tow. But the Master Man, as Freemasonry depicts him, is one whose
conduct is regulated from within. He has the law in his heart. There is a court in his
conscience, a government in his soul. Wherever he is, and under what ever
circumstances, he will remain an upright man because his rectitude is a thing of his
nature. The Cable Tow which binds him to the social and moral order, and which
holds him to his duty, has passed inward and become a mystical thing of the spirit.
So also with his love. Many there are who know how to be very brotherly and
sociable when they find themselves in a brotherly atmosphere, but whose kindliness
withers up outside that air; he who is truly a Master Mason will have love in his heart,
and from his heart it will flow to his brethren wherever and whatever they may be. A
Cable Tow of affection reaches to them, nothing can break it, nothing can loosen its,
What is the length of this Cable Tow? It is as long as the arm that stretches out a
helping hand. It reaches as far as a brother's cheering voice. It goes as far as charity's
dollar can go. It can travel as far as good will can travel. Wherever the mails can
carry a letter it can be carried. The length of a Master Mason's Cable Tow is
precisely equal to the extent of his influences.
— o —
THE STUDY CLUB
Chapters of Masonic History
By Bro. H.L. HAYWOOD, Editor THE BUILDER
PART VII. FREEMASONRY AND THE GILD SYSTEM
1. THE GILD SYSTEM IN GENERAL
WHEN the Angles and Saxons settled in ancient England (Britain it was then called)
they at first maintained their military form of organization, so that each settlement
was a kind of camp; but as time went on and villages became permanent, a civil form
of social order began slowly to evolve. The first step in this was the institution of the
kin-bond, wherein blood relatives stood together for support and protection, the
individual and his family being mutually responsible. This gave way in the course of
time to voluntary associations founded not on blood relationship but on community
ties, existing to protect the individual against the group, to preserve order in the
settlement, and for a variety of similar purposes. These associations, described as
"artificial" in contrast to the "natural" bond of blood, were the first gilds in England,
in virtue of which fact it cannot be said that anybody ever "discovered" or "invented"
gilds; they grew out of natural conditions in response to social necessity, just as they
had come into existence among the Greeks and Romans centuries before, the former
calling them "thiassoi", etc., the latter, "collegia". It is generally believed by the more
dependable authorities that it is very possible that there may have been some
historical continuity between the gilds of early England and the Roman collegia, but
the historical remains of the period are too scanty to enable us to make sure on that
point. If such a continuity ever existed it was more probable in Italy, where the
collegia longest endured, and which, like most other European countries, had a gild
system of its own.
The word "gild" (sometimes spelled "guild") continues to be a puzzle so far as its
etymology is concerned. The North Germans had "geld", meaning money; the
Danish, "gilde", a religious feast in honour of the god Odin; the Anglo-Saxons, "gild",
from same root as "yield", and meaning a fixed payment of money; the Bretons
"gouil", a feast or holiday; the Welsh "gmylad", a festival. In later times, when gilds
became everywhere common, the North Germans used the word "gild"; the South
Germans, "zunft"; the French, "metier"; and the Italians, "arte". In the sixteenth
century England the word was generally superseded by "company", "corporation" or
"mystery", the last name derived from the Latin "ministerium", or trade, and having
no reference to anything mysterious, being preserved in our usage to this day, as
when we speak of the arts, parts and mysteries of Freemasonry.
The first gilds, as it is believed, were organized in Italy. In France they were very
common before Charlemagne, and are first mentioned in the Carolingian Capitularies
of 779 and 789. Commercial and craft gilds began to become common in France, the
Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden in the eleventh century. The oldest
known ordinances, as the written laws for the government of a gild were called, occur
in England in the eleventh century. The gild principle proved so successful and was
applied to so many uses that by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it became the
outstanding feature of the social and economic life of Europe.
One of the commonest early uses of that principle was in the "frith", or peace, gilds,
which became very popular in North Europe in the sixth century - the Vikings
organized then to suppress piracy - and in England the century later, where they were
referred to in the Laws of Ine. These were voluntary associations of men organized
for mutual defense, to supplement defective laws, and to police the community in a
period when national governments were not known and when the authority of the
town was very weak. We saw this system at work in our own land under pioneer
conditions, as in the case of the Vigilantes, and even today, in spite of our elaborate
machinery for the enforcement of law and the protection of citizens, impatient men in
some communities strive to make or enforce law by similar methods.
In the course of time gilds multiplied until they came to be used for every conceivable
purpose, for good-fellowship, for drinking, for insuring a decent burial, for worship,
for hunting, travel, art and for banking; priests and friars organized, sailors, travelers,
woodsmen and shepherds; there were gilds for men, women, children, for rich and for
poor, in the country and in the town. Functions now performed by government,
armies, schools, stores, factories, hospitals, trade unions, and most of the other
innumerable forms into which social organization has differentiated itself, were then
held in keeping by gilds.
The typical gild had prayers for the dead; a common chest for incidental upkeep and
for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased members; periodical meetings,
with banquets; admitted members on an oath, sometimes two; administered fines;
adopted ordinances for the regulation of its own activities; punished members for
improper conduct, and co-operated in many ways with the town or national
governments. Most of these societies were small, the largest on record being the
Corpus Christi gild at York, which once boasted of 15,000 members. Sometimes
many gilds in a community consolidated, but there was never a country-wide merger.
Of the city of London there is record of one gild in 1 130; of eighteen in 1 1 80, and of
1 10 in 1422. In the time of Edward III there were listed more than 40,000 religious
and trade gilds in England; the census of 1389 showed 909 in Norfolk alone. This
proliferation received its first serious set-back during the Reformation when Henry
VIII despoiled all religious gilds; it died down rapidly with the advent of the capitalist
system, and came to a dead stop, except in a few unimportant instances, in the last
century. France prohibited them in 1789-91; Spain and Portugal, 1833-40; Austria
and Germany, 1859-60; Italy, 1864; Scotland, where the development had followed
Continental lines, in 1846, and England in 1835.
In its heyday the gild system was very closely connected with the church, so closely
that some writers credit the church with its origin; almost every gild had its patron
saint, before whose image it kept a candle burning, and many set aside sums of
money for the sustenation of a priest, the maintenance of a chapel and for masses,
chantries, church charities and church schools. Oftentimes a gild had its own
chaplain, and a very large number, as already noted, were devoted exclusively to
religious purposes; these religious fraternities were suppressed in England in 1547,
and other gilds were at the same time forbidden to give money to churches. A
number of the Roman Catholic fraternities now existing are lineal descendants of the
old religious gilds.
Partly as a result of their alliance with the church many gilds, otherwise devoted to
purely secular pursuits, participated in pageants and in mystery, morality and miracle
plays, the forerunners of our modern drama. These plays were staged on wagons
drawn in a "procession" from one exhibition point to another across the town, and
always it was a day of excitement when they were shown, and vast crowds gathered.
Expenses were divided among the gilds and parts allotted, as at Norwich, where the
mercers, drapers and haberdashers presented the creation of the world; the grocers,
Paradise; the smiths, the fight between David and Goliath; or as at Hereford, the
glovers gave Adam and Eve; the carpenters, Noah's ship; the tailors, the three kings,
etc. It is of record that on a few instances parts were taken by gilds of Masons. I am
of the opinion that the drama of our Third Degree may very probably have been
originally an old mystery play, which may have found its way to us through some
Masons' gild that participated in it.
It used to be the fashion to say that the gild corporation and the town corporation
were identical, or that the former gradually metamorphosed into the latter, a view
given a very wide circulation by Brentano; this idea has been abandoned. There was
always a close connection between town government and gild government, but the
two were always distinct, except possibly in two or three negligible instances. In
many cases a man had to be a gild member before he could become a citizen, but the
gild ordinances were always subordinate to the town authority. The manner in which
the gilds governed themselves will be described later.
It is a remarkable fact, and one worthy of especial remark to us Masons, that many
gilds accepted men not at all engaged in the craft as patrons or as a means of
bestowing an honour or some special privilege. "Indeed," writes one of the best
authorities, E. Lipson, "the members of many London companies frequently came to
have only a very faint connection with the business of the company to which they
were attached," a fact that makes it easier for us to understand how non-operatives
came to be admitted into the old Masonic gilds, or lodges. "They included in their
membership," writes another authority, "most of the wealthy men of the nation, and
the great [gild] halls now standing in the city of London testify to the proud names
with which they are so generously decorated that the men who made England what
she was, the men who built her commerce, won her wealth and risked their lives and
fortunes in extending England's commercial supremacy, were mighty in the gilds."
Henry IV, Henry VI and Henry VIII were gild members, so also Edward III, who
belonged to a gild of armourers. There is therefore nothing extraordinary in the fact
that Elias Ashmole and other worthies of his time sought membership among the
II. THE MERCHANT GILDS
The gild system in general had two grand periods of development, the first of which
culminated in the merchant gilds, as were called those associations formed in all the
towns (save a few, among which was London) for the purpose of managing and
controlling trading and commerce. Such a gild included all engaged in a given kind of
commerce, including wage-earners as well as proprietors, and the object was to
enable the merchants to maintain a monopoly of, and an efficient organization of, all
the merchandising in a given community. These organizations grew apace and waxed
powerful and became in time the foster parents of English commerce; more than 100
towns in England and seventy in Ireland and Wales had them. They reached their
zenith in the twelfth century, began to disappear in the fourteenth century and were
almost completely superseded by craft gilds in the fifteenth century.
Merchant gilds engaged in so many activities, some private, some public, that it is
impossible to describe them in full; among the most important of their functions was
the control of import and export of wares; the limiting of the number permitted in any
trade; the regulation of wages and prices, and the inspection and standardization of
goods. Every member had to pay "scot" and "lot", as the general taxes were called,
and take oath to obey the rulers and ordinances, as well as contribute his annual dues.
As a reward for his membership he was privileged to share in business transactions
and in bargains, and was given a "status" in the community very much coveted. If he
fell ill he was cared for; his family was looked after in case of his death; in
unemployment he was helped to find a position, and he was protected against quarrels
and unjust dealings. The gild was governed by an alderman ("elder man") and his
associates, two or four in number; it had its own treasury; passed its own ordinances;
could fine or otherwise punish its members; and in some instances had its own court.
At periodical meetings - called "morning speeches" - the brethren passed or revised
ordinances, admitted new members, feasted and elected officers.
As industry developed in scope and complexity it became increasingly difficult for
these gilds merchant to retain their monopolies; gradually there grew up a new system
to supersede the old, known as craft gilds, in which not commerce but a handicraft
was the unit; there was a struggle between the new system and the old, but the old at
last gave way and in the fifteenth century ceased to be. Craft gilds were not, as has
often been alleged, the offspring of the merchant gilds, for there was no organic
connection between them; they were variously two similar but quite distinct and
separate developments of the gild principle due to economic changes.
III. CRAFT GUILDS
"The primary purpose of the craft gild was to establish a complete system of
industrial control over all who were associated together in the pursuit of a common
calling." The merchant gild, working usually in the smaller towns, organized a whole
industry; the craft gilds, springing up everywhere, from London to almost every
hamlet, organized each separate part of every industry, or vocation, as an independent
entity. For example, where the merchant gild had organized the leather business as a
whole, craft gilds broke it up into specialties, so that tanners, saddle makers, harness
makers, bridle makers, shoe makers, slipper makers, boot makers, etc., had each their
own fraternity. This high degree of specialization was extended to the arts, to social
interests, amusements and education; it was even extended to religion, so that in one
church might be a gild of priests, of musicians, of singers, of actors in the mystery
play, and a gild to look after the altar besides to see that it was properly dressed with
rich cloths and its candles always burning.
The gilds devoted wholly to some one handicraft performed an astonishing number of
functions and became a little family world to each member in which he found his
social fellowship, his school, his business, his hospital, his sick, health and life
insurance, protection against enemies, employment bureau, a court to which to be
responsible for his conduct and laws and ordinances for controlling his conduct. The
old debate among Masonic writers as to whether the medieval operative Masonic
gilds possessed any "speculative" elements would seem to be singularly beside the
point; every gild was full of "speculative" elements, even the pig drivers and sheep
herders, who, like the rest had their patron saints, their religious festivals and burned
a candle at the altar.
"Many free grammar schools were founded and maintained by the gilds," writes
Lipson, in his excellent Economic History, "which formed one of the main sources of
education in the Middle Ages; and one gild, that of Corpus Christi, Cambridge,
perpetuated its memory by founding the famous college that still bears its name. In
this way the gilds contributed to the spread of learning, and the voluntary efforts of
artisans helped to keep burning the lamp of knowledge." He could have added many
more examples. Dean Colet turned over to a gild the management of his St. Paul's
school. William Shakespeare secured his "little Latin and less Greek" at a gild school
Many writers have described craft gilds as "the trade unions of the Middle Ages", but
this is most inaccurate. As Sidney and Beatrice Webb have stated so clearly in their
magnificent History of Trade Unions there was no connection whatever between the
two, and only a superficial resemblance. The craft gild was a quasi-public body,
often so interwoven with municipal government that learned writers have confused
the two; it controlled trade not in the interests of workmen merely but of all, the
public included; membership in it was compulsory, and so recognized by local and
national laws; its ranks included employers as well as employed, and these two
groups did not come into conflict until later, with the rise of journeymen's gilds; it
accepted into membership only trained men, all others, servants, etc., being left
outside and considered as "cowans"; it was a purely local institution, with a territory
limited by the community boundaries; and in addition to the regulation of wages,
hours and general trade conditions, it was also engaged, as described above, in many
activities of a purely social character, and unrelated to the trade itself.
At the head of the typical gild were the wardens, two or four, usually elected by the
assembly but sometimes appointed by the mayor, holding office for one year, whose
duty it was to supervise the work turned out by the craft and to see that certain
standards were maintained. The assembly usually met once a year, but sometimes
four times, and at stated intervals. The gild often had its own court and members
were admitted on oath. The general membership was divided into the three grades of
masters, journeymen (fellow crafts) and apprentices, but any journeyman might
become a master so that, so far as skill was concerned, there were only two classes.
Women were admitted into many gilds and were permitted to take apprentices and to
The most admirable feature in the whole gild system was the institution called
apprenticeship, which was a method for training youths in their vocation never since
surpassed and not often equalled. A boy was "indentured", or contracted, to some
master for a term of years, which in earlier times might last from one to ten years, but
in 1563 was everywhere (in England) fixed at seven years. The master furnished bed
and board, technical training, sometimes a small salary, sometimes schooling,
supervised his conduct, and generally stood to the boy in loco parentis; the boy in his
turn was obliged to be no bondsman, of good physique, a faithful workman and alive
to his master's welfare. The beginnings of this system have been traced to 1260; it
became a vital part of the whole economic system in the thirteenth century.
Apprentices were usually registered with the town authorities and otherwise given a
recognized status in the community. The terms and experiences of his position
passed into popular speech, remaining in use until the present day, coloured all social
thinking, and often was celebrated in literature, as in Goethe's Wilhelm Maister.
The apprentice custom, as the reader will already have discerned, remains imbedded
in our own Masonic system to remind us that a candidate for our "mystery" stands as
much in need of training as the youth of old times who knocked at the door of a gild;
if our statesmen and rulers ever come to understand Masonry as they should, and its
possibilities in the world, the reconstitution of the apprentice system in our Fraternity,
and a more thorough and intelligent use of it, will be one of their first concerns. To
expect a man to be able to understand or practice Freemasonry without adequate
preparation is a ridiculous now as it was when Masonic gilds were devoted to
architecture and the building crafts. We are not called on to raise fabrics of wood and
stone into the sky, but ours is an even more difficult task, for it is our duty to build
manhood and to reorganize the whole world into the forms of brotherhood, surely a
high calling, and demanding skilled workmen !
The time of his indenture completed, the apprentice graduated into the ranks of the
journeymen, becoming thereby a fellow of the craft, i.e., entitled to its liberties and
privileges on equal terms with all others. This passing to a higher grade was
signalized by some proof of his skill a "masterpiece" in many cases or an examination
before the wardens. (Wardens were known as "deacons" in Scotland, whence some of
our Masonic nomenclature was derived.) In Europe the young journeyman went out
on a "wander tour" in order to see something of the world and of the practices of his
craft in other places, but this custom never secured a foothold in England; usually (in
some cases compulsorily) a journeyman (sometimes called yoeman, "young man")
hired himself out to some master for two or three years at wages and then, with a little
money of his own, set up in his own shop, hired journeymen, indentured apprentices
and became a master.
In the course of time the masters, being the moneyed class, tended to arrogate to
themselves more and more power and to adopt legislation in their own interests, and
the journeymen, as their numbers increased, learned to combine to secure their own
interests, especially after a permanently wage earning class was developed. Upon this
journeymen began to form gilds of their own, often in despite of the authorities, a
thing that became quite common by the fifteenth century. On the continent,
especially in the industrial centers and in Germany, this conflict between masters and
men often broke out into pitched battles with much shedding of blood (the Medici
family emerged from such a welter to the control of Florence), but in England the
struggle was more quiet. By the sixteen seventeenth century journeymen gilds were
quite subdued and content to remain subordinate to the masters who grew more and
more oligarchical. In many of the large cities the masters secured all control in their
own hands, and gradually, with the coming of modern capitalism and manufacturing
and the whole gild system gradually rise of nationalism the whole gild system broke
up and quietly passed away. Some of the craft societies still survived so late as the
latter half of the eighteenth century, but their privileges were formally and finally
abolished by parliament in 1835.
The study of the medieval Masonic gilds from which Freemasonry evolved, or at least
with which it has at least a certain amount of historical continuity, must be reserved
for another chapter, as demanding more space reserved than is here available. In the
present connection it is not necessary to call a Masonic reader's attention to the fact
that whatever that historical connection may have been and to what extent our modern
craft is indebted to the old gild system, Freemasonry was in its beginning of a piece
with that system and inherited many things from it, so that it is quite impossible to
understand our Fraternity today apart from the craft gilds of old in which apprentices,
fellow crafts and masters united in the one hand, toiled and lived together in
brotherhood to the end that the word might be served and themselves enabled to earn
masters' wages and to perfect themselves in their mystery.
WORKS CONSULTED IN PREPARING THIS ARTICLE
A. Abram, English Life and Manners in Later Middle Ages. J. DeW. Addison. Arts
and Crafts in Middle Ages. Ars. Quatuor Coronatorum, II, 159; II, 165; V, 125; IX,
28; XV, 153; XV, 197. F. Armitage, The Guilds of England. W. J. Ashley, An
Introduction to English Economic History. E. Bain, Merchant and Craft Gilds. L.
Brentano On the History and Development of Gilds. H.M. Chadwick, Studies of
Anglo-Saxon Institutions. E.K. Chambers. The Medieval Stage. Jas. Coiston,
Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh. H.C. Coote, The Romance of Britain. W.
Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce. W.Denton, England in the
Fifteenth Century. O.J. Dunlap, English Apprenticeship and Child Labour.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol XII, 14. E.A. Freeman, History of the Norman
Conquest of Freemasonry; R.F. Gould, Concise History of Freemasonry; History of
Freemasonry. N.S.B. Gras, Introduction to Economic History. A.S. Green, Town Life
in the Fifteenth Century J.R. Green, Short History of the English People. C. Gross,
Bibliography of British Municipal History; Gild Merchant. J.L. and B. Hammond,
The Village Laborer. M.D. Harris, Story of Coventry. James Hasting, Encyclopedia
of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VI. W.C. Hazlitt, Livery Companies of City of London.
K. Hegel, Stadte und Gilden. F.A. Hibbert, Influence and Development of English
Gilds. A. Jessop, Coming of the Friars. J.J. Jugseiand, English Wayfaring Life in the
Middle Ages. S. Kramer, English Craft Gilds and the Government. J.M. Lambert,
Two Thousand Years of Gild Life. Lethaby, Medieval Art. E. Lipson, Economic
History of England. A.S. McBride, Speculative Masonry. Machiavelli. Florentine
History. Mackey, Revised History of Freemasonry. A.L. Miller, Notes on the Early
History and Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen 1 ter. H.B. Morse, Gilds of China.
A.W. Pollard, English Miracle Plays. M.B. Reekitt, Meaning of National Guilds.
George Renard, Guilds in the Middle Ages. J.E.T. Rogers, Economic Interpretation of
History. H.G. Selfridge, Romance of Commerce. L.T. Smith, York Mystery Plays.
T. Smith, English Gilds. Edgcumb Staley, The Guilds of Florence, J. Thomson, An
Essay on English Municipal History. G. Unwin, Gilds and Companies of England.
L. Vibert, Story of the Craft. P. Vinagradoff, Edtr., Oxford Studies in Social and Legal
History. A.E. Waite, New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Ward, Freemasonry and the
Ancient Gods. S. and B. Webb, History of Trade Unionism. H. Zimmem, The Hansa
FREEMASONRY AND THE GILD SYSTEM
Mackey's Encyclopedia (Revised Edition)
Adoptive Masonry, 24-30; Apprentice, 70-72; Architecture, 75; Assembly, 83;
Cowans, 183; Craft, 184; Craftsman, 184; Deacon, 197-198; Fellow Crafts, 261-262;
Female Masons, 262; Foreign Country, 269; Gilds,. 296-297; Journey, 373;
Journeyman, 373; Master, 473-476; Mysteries, 497-500; Roman Colleges of
Artificers, 630-634; Wages, 834.
A NOTE ON THE COMACINES
I have recently encountered a note on the Comacine Masters which should be
included with the chapter on that subject published in this department last month. It
was contributed by A. L. Frothingham to "Dictionary of Architecture and Building",
edited by Russell Sturgis; the article is headed "Guilds" and is, so far as I could
discover, the solitary reference in that work to Freemasonry. Having no competence
in etymology I am unable to pass judgment on Mr. Frothingham's theory, but am
under the impression that etymologists in general would not agree with him. Further
light on the point will be appreciated. Students will do well to read the article in its
entirety; in the present connection there is space for only one paragraph:
"A great deal of grave nonsense has been written by grave authorities on these
magistri commacini; chapters and even volumes have been based on the supposition
that Commacine means 'a native of Como,' and that this region was so specifically the
center of the revival of architecture under the Lombards as to give its name to the
profession of architect; master from Como = architect. Such a fact would be without
a parallel and is, besides, an etymological blunder. The word com-macinus is from
the same stem as macio, the common Latin word for stonemason, with the addition of
the collective prefix, and may also be connected with the current Byzantine word for
practical architect, mechanicos." - H.L.H.
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IN WHAT SENSE INFALLIBILITY IS CLAIMED
FOR THE POPE
I have often wondered if Roman Catholics have the same idea about the infallibility
of the pope that outsiders have. Where can one find the Roman Church's own official
definition of papal infallibility ?
The dogma of papal infallibility was defined by the Vatican Council held in Rome
1869-1870, and reads in this fashion: "Therefore faithfully adhering to the traditions
of the Christian faith, which has come down to us from the beginning .... we teach
and define it to be a doctrine divinely revealed, that the Roman Pontiff when he
speaks ex cathedra - that is, when he in the exercise of the office of pastor and doctor
of all Christians' by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, defines a doctrine
regarding faith and morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine
assistance promised him in Blessed Peter, possesses that infallibility with which the
Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in the definition of a doctrine
regarding faith or morals."
This means that he is infallible only when he speaks as pope, and not as a private
individual when as pope he gives the official definition of a doctrine; when he treats
of faith and morals or matters vitally related thereto; and when he makes it clearly
understood that he is promulgating a decision binding "on the universal church."
What this amounts to is that he acts as the register or mouth-piece of the church, in its
official capacity, and that, according to the idea, the church itself is infallible. The
infallibility of the pope developed out of the infallibility of the church, the former
dogma was not officially accepted until 1870, the latter has been held in Roman
communion for many centuries.
— o —
INTRODUCING BROTHER F. H. LITTLEFIELD
At an annual meeting of the National Masonic Re. search Society held at Cedar
Rapids, Iowa, Oct. 4, 1923, the Board of Stewards, after a minute and comprehensive
canvass of all our activities, decided that it would be wise to so reorganize our
machinery of management as to make for increased efficiency and economy, as well
as to guarantee t h a t the future of the Society be absolutely secure. To that end it was
arranged that the general offices of the Society be retained at Cedar Rapids, with
Brother C. C. Hunt as General Secretary, and that the publication office of THE
BUILDER, membership offices, financial offices, and all other activities appertaining
to the business management of the Society's affairs be removed to St. Louis to be
under the care of Brother F. H. Littlefield, who at that meeting was chosen executive
The duties devolving on the executive head of this Society require that he possess a
combination of qualifications not often found. He must have managerial and business
ability, experience with publishing, a first-hand knowledge of Masonry in its many
aspects, and a heartfelt dedication to a task that entails a considerable amount of
financial and moral responsibility, without hope of fee or reward. In Brother F. H.
Littlefield, our Board of Stewards found these qualifications very fully developed,
and were fortunate in being able to secure his services. As president of the
STANDARD MASONIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, editor and proprietor of THE
MISSOURI FREEMASON, and for many years intensely active in all the Masonic
bodies in Missouri, as well as several important business concerns, he possesses the
ideal experience and equipment for the managing head of this Society. It is an honor
to introduce him to our members and readers, a pleasure to be associated with him,
and it is safe to predict for him a successful outcome of his labors, now already
begun, in the development and expansion of our work.
H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor.
Having been commissioned by the National Masonic Research Society to assume a
large portion of the practical executive duties in connection with this Society and in
the publication of THE BUILDER, I feel that a brief statement of our present plans
and hopes for the future should be given to our membership.
The National Masonic Research Society is a corporate body (not for pecuniary profit)
existing solely for the purpose of fostering Masonic education, research, thought and
expression. We desire that each member and reader should be fully informed as to the
democratic character of its organization, and in a succeeding number we propose to
publish its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws for your information.
From its inception, nearly nine years ago, one of its principal operations has been the
editing and publishing of THE BUILDER as the official journal of the Society. It has
made a splendid reputation in the world of Masonic thought and literature, attracting
contributions from the ablest Masonic thinkers and writers of the time.
THE BUILDER, and the business offices of the Society, are now removed from
Cedar Rapids to St. Louis, with all the collected manuscripts, library and equipment
intact. Ample provision is made for its valuable reference library and its editorial and
research departments. Its new offices are in the Railway Exchange, the largest office
building in the world. The material resources and conveniences are in no way
impaired, and we expect them to develop improvement in the future.
More important is the continuation of the high standard of Masonic journalism that
THE BUILDER has established. To this we pledge our most sincere efforts.
Everything will carry on as before. There will be no diminution in our various
services to the Craft. Brother H. L. Haywood is here with us as Editor-in-chief and
will enlarge the staff of our associate editors with talent from all parts of the Masonic
THE BUILDER will continue to function as the official journal of the Society. It will
not enter the field of competitive or commercial journalism, or lend itself to any
personal or political propaganda. It can exist on our present membership through an
indefinite future, and as that membership increases it will augment its services to the
Craft and improve its editorial, artistic and typographical qualities in every way
In removing our headquarters to St. Louis the Society will not lose its contact with the
many faithful brethren of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the parent of Masonic research in
the United States. Brothers Parvin, Hunt, Block and Moses continue their connection
with our Society and THE BUILDER, and through their kind co-operation we are
assured full use of the matchless resources of that very valuable institution, the Iowa
I am frank to say, and I say it with all sincerity, that though I had long been a member
and somewhat familiar with its activities, I have been agreeably surprised to discover
just how extensive the work of the Society is, how far its influence reaches, how
many brethren are engaged in special work under its direction; this, coupled with the
fact that the membership is so loyal, inspires me to believe that we have a great future
before us. There is a family feeling among us all, a feeling that THE BUILDER
belongs to each and every one, and that each member is in a sense an editor and
contributor; I shall hope to see that spirit continue, deepen and grow.
A TEMPLE OF LIGHT
By the time these words are in print the cornerstone of the George Washington
National Memorial will have been laid, surely, if one will consider it all around, the
most notable cornerstone laying since American Masonry began to be, and the most
impressive, both for the brilliancy of the assembly of Masons in attendance and for
the abiding significance of the structure itself. Like one of the great towers that stood
at the harbors of old Greece and Rome to guide the sea-weary ships to their goal, it
will lift its galleries far above Alexandria, where Washington lived, and above the
proud capital also called after his name, a striking testimony before millions of eyes
to the presence of Freemasonry in the nation’s midst, itself a house of memory, a
temple of light.
Inside the memorial will be rooms for lodges, chapters, commanderies and
consistories, offices for the Memorial Association, libraries, museums, an art gallery,
an auditorium, and a replica of the Alexandria lodge room of 1 802 to contain the
Masonic mementoes of Washington, as precious as they are priceless. The exterior
will express the spirit of these activities, and the whole together will stand a
monument of national unity in memory of him who made the nation.
By the same token it will visibly embody Masonic unity also, a proof that if the Craft
is divided by its jurisdictional machinery into forty-nine Grand Lodges, it is united
into one jurisdiction by the indivisibility of its spirit, everywhere the same, and
growing more and more self-conscious. There is no need for a national Grand Lodge;
we are already a national Grand Lodge, albeit, like the Grand Lodge above, "it has to
be seen in a certain way, under certain conditions. Some people never see it at all.
You must understand, this is no dead pile of stones and unmeaning timber. It is a
living thing"; living and life-giving.
Everywhere in the land, on every night, Masons meet, of all creeds and classes, from
the youngest Entered Apprentice, talking about the Shrine, to the whitest veteran
discussing Morals and Dogma; in little brick buildings, on the coast of Maine; in the
rocky valleys of Massachusetts; on the sand stretches of Florida; along the maple
shaded streets of Indiana villages; in windy towns on the wheat lands of the Dakotas;
in sparse little settlements of the intermountain countries; in the new cities and old
villages of California; in adobe towns on the red deserts of the Southwest; in the old
cities of Louisiana; here, there, everywhere, up and down a great land, these
companies of chosen men are building a brotherhood on the mother rock far
underneath the jealousies that make war on the surface. What a quiet, unobtrusive,
gentle brotherhood it is, silently weaving the nation together, helping to create the
American soul! Its moral idealism filters into every nook and comer, softens men's
hearts even when they are least aware, and helps to hold the world together. It is this
spirit brooding in the heart of the Craft that is uttering itself in the great Memorial
now building, and makes it a shaft of unity, a temple of light, more than any mere pile
of steel and marble could ever be.
— o —
A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO MASONIC HISTORY
NOTES ON EARLY HISTORY AND RECORDS OF THE LODGE, ABERDEEN,
by A. L. Miller, P. M. May be purchased through the publisher, Aberdeen University
Press, Ltd. 6 Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen, Scotland. Price, 5/.
THOUGH it contains only 74 pages, this little book, printed beautifully on fine paper
and bound in Quaker gray cloth, is more justly entitled to a place on the Masonic
student's five-foot shelf of books than many a more ambitious volume that is often
found there, and that because it is solid substance all through, which is more than can
be said of so many Masonic volumes, often built on hearsay and padded out with
windy rhetoric. R. F. Gould said of the records of Aberdeen Lodge that "some are
unsurpassed by any others of a similar character in interest and value." The first
known record of any kind of Mason in the old Scotch city is of date 1264. It is said
that St. John's Masonry was introduced in 1357. The old memorials of the burgh,
beginning in 1398, refer to many Masons. "Lodge" (spelled "loge") is first mentioned
in 1483, the earliest record of the word in the Scottish Craft.
The magistrates of the town issued to the lodge a Seal of Cause, or charter, in 1521,
thus incorporating it. There is a record of a warden being appointed with jurisdiction
over three counties in 1590. From 1587 on the other crafts federated and worked
under one set of officers with a convener’s court, but the "Mason Lodge" remained
apart and maintained a jurisdiction over its own affairs. This fact is worthy of note as
being one of many similar instances where the Operative Masons maintained a
stubborn independence as regards other gilds and sometimes, it appeared, as regards
town authorities; in some cases there seems to have been some friction engendered
and town authorities forbade the organization of a Mason gild. The Aberdeen Lodge
had active enemies, certain clergy among them, a fact, it is possible, that explains
why it two or three times lost its own building by fire.
The Aberdeen Masons had a building of their own, other than their temporary work
huts, as early as 1483 and it is believed by some authorities that the lodge of that date
never ceased to exist so that Aberdeen Lodge of today may boast of a great antiquity.
W. J. Hughan, the most cautious of Masonic historians, held it to be of a date not later
than 1570 at least.
The present lodge's most precious possession is the old Mark Book, begun in 1670,
and containing a list of members with their marks, laws and statutes, and a version of
the Old Charges, given in full in an Appendix, which was published by Hughan and
listed by him as No. 22 among extant copies of the Old Charges.
From the records contained in the old Mark Book one learns some interesting things.
It proves that in the old days Fellowcraft and Master Mason were one and the same as
far as rank is concerned, so that there were only two grades of membership, Entered
Apprentice and Fellow, or Master. The apprentice took an oath and had the Old
Charges read to him, comprising his initiation ceremony, but there is nothing to show
that any ceremony attended his passing to the higher rank, save that he was usually
required to produce a masterpiece. In 1670, forty-seven years before the founding of
the first Grand Lodge (London), non-operatives outnumbered operatives in the lodge
membership four to ones and contained in their list many notable and some
aristocratic names, including four noblemen, a professor of mathematics, three
ministers, two surgeons, four carpenters and several men of other trades. It will be
seen that the lodge was a real society, not a mere trade union, keeping its feasts on St.
John in December, looking after its poor, and once a month holding its regular
meetings at which time there was much good fellowship but no disorder. Nearly all
the Scotch lodges of the time admitted "speculative" members, many of whom were
very active and held office.. This is one of a thousand similar facts to prove that our
modern Freemasonry was a gradual evolution out of medieval Operative Masonry.
The minutes of Aberdeen Lodge are the oldest known to have been preserved; for
some strange reason no minutes of an English lodge prior to 1717 are in existence.
There has been much speculation, most of it worthless, about the mysterious "Mason
word" often encountered in the records of Scotch Masonry. Brother Miller, basing his
statement on the memorials of his own ancient lodge, has something interesting to say
on the subject:
"The term was common in the Scottish lodges in the early days, but what the old
Scottish Mason Word was remains unknown. The conclusion has been come to that
this formed the only degree in the early Masonry of Scotland, and consisted in the
reading to the candidate for apprenticeship the legend of the Craft and the
communication of the Mason Word. In the Aberdeen rules reference is also made to
'the oaths we received at our entry to the benefit of the Mason Word.' So far as is
known, there was no ceremony in connection with advancement to the rank of
Fellowcraft, or Master."
A Worshipful Master was chosen each year, but the Warden held office indefinitely;
besides these were a Clerk, an Officer (his functions are not described): and a
"The Boxmaster was chosen annually. He was selected 'only from among the
company because the Master keeps one key and the Warden another.' At that time,
accordingly, the Keymasters appear to have been the Master, Warden and Boxmaster.
but in 1696. which is the date of the first minute recording an election, two
Keymasters were appointed, in addition to the ordinary office-bearers, to act along
with the Boxmaster. In the Mason Box were kept the Mark Book and the money of
the lodge. The box had three locks, one of the keys being in the custody of each
Keymaster. Their presence was therefore obligatory at any meeting at which it was
necessary to open the Mason Box; we have seen from a previously quoted regulation
that the clerk was not to write in the Mark Book unless the three Keymasters were
The rules governing dues payable by non-operatives opens a little window into the
life of the lodge. Says one author:
"The following are the provisions for the dues payable by the non-operative, or, as
they are termed in the rules, the gentlemen Masons. The apprentice contributed four
rix dollars of composition, a lion apron and a pair of good gloves to every person
concerned in the lodge, 'or if the entering Prentice have not whereupon to furnish
aprons and gloves, he must pay two rix dollars for them, which makes up six in all,
with one dinner, one speaking pint and his contribution to the Box, as we have paid
before him, with one merk piece for his Mason mark, one merk piece to our officer
for calling a lodge; this is the least we take for Entered Prentices.' Of the entry money
of apprentices, one-half was paid into the Mason Box, and the other half spent as the
will of the company thought fit. When advanced to Fellowcraft, the new member of
the lodge had to provide a dinner and a pint of wine, or what the will of the company
pleased. There is also provision for making strangers who had been entered in another
lodge, Master Masons of the Lodge of Aberdeen."
One of the most interesting pages in the book, and recommended as throwing light on
certain obscure passages in our present ritual, is this:
"Probably the most important provision in the Laws and Statutes, from the Masonic
point of view, is in the third rule, which ordains that 'no lodge be holden within a
dwelling house where there is people living in it but in the open fields, except it be ill
weather, and then let there be a house chosen that no person shall hear nor see us.'
Compare with this the words of the fifth rule: 'We ordain likewise that all entering
Prentices be entered in our ancient outfield lodge in the Meams in the parish of Nigg
at the scounces at the point of the Ness.' Gould makes the following reference to these
entries in the rules: 'We meet with, in the Laws and Statutes of the Aberdeen Lodge in
1'670, the only allusion - antedating the era of Grand Lodges - to the practice of
lodges being held and apprentices entered in the open fields.' These two regulations
seem to indicate that it had long been the practice of the members of the lodge to hold
their meetings in the open air in some secluded spot which would ensure privacy for
their proceedings; they also seem to infer a greater regard for secrecy in their
initiations than would have been necessary for the mere reading over of the Mason
Charter and the communication of the Mason Word. They accord with the Masonic
tradition that, in the old days, lodges were enjoined to assemble on the highest hills or
in the lowest valleys. According to a tradition of the lodge, the Masons were
accustomed to hold their meetings at Carden's Haugh, Rubislaw, and in the hollow at
Operative Masons were called "domatic," non-operatives were known as
"gentlemen," or "geomatic." In 1781 the Operatives seceded and formed a lodge of
their own, still existing as Operative Lodge, No. 150. The Grand Lodge of Scotland
was organized in 1736, but it was long in enforcing its authority over Scotch lodges.
Many "irregular" lodges flourished in or about Aberdeen in 1752. The "New
Constitutions" enforced by Grand Lodge wrought many changes.
"The constitution of the lodge remained much the same until 1736 when the effect of
the foundation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland began to show itself. In that year the
minutes first refer to candidates being entered, passed and raised, and the members
appear then to have given their simple ceremony of admission and adopted the three
degrees of modern Masonry. In 1737 a Senior and Junior Warden were appointed. In
1739 the Master was first styled Right Worshipful Master. In 1740 two Deacons, and
in 1754 three Stewards were added. In 1757 a Depute Master was appointed. In 1776
a clergyman was admitted a member and made Chaplain to the lodge. In respect of
his being a clergyman he was admitted free of all dues, a custom known in other
Scottish lodges of the time. The use of the interesting word Keymaster was
maintained until 1756, after which year no further appointments to that office were
One of the most interesting pages in this book is that which refers to Dr. James
Anderson, author, or at least compiler, of the Book of Constitutions of 1723, almost
universally employed as the foundation of Masonic laws. Dr. Anderson was an
alumnus of Marischal College, Aberdeen, and it is considered most probable that he
was a member of the Aberdeen Lodge, though the minutes of the period are
unfortunately lost. Gould was of the opinion that Anderson very probably introduced
into English Masonry some of the terms then used in Scotch Masonry.
It will be profitable to read in conjunction with Bro. Miller's substantial little book
other writings on the subject, all available: Notes on the History of Masonry In
Aberdeen, A. M. Murero; Merchant and Craft Guilds (of Aberdeen), E. Bain;
Collected Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry, p. 105, R. F. Gould; Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. II, pp. 159, 165. These studies, if read together, will
furnish one with a more accurate and vivid conception of what Masonry was like
before 1717 than many long histories.
* * *
A BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM
THE LODGE AND THE CRAFT, A PRACTICAL EXPLANATION OF THE
WORK OF FREEMASONRY, by Rollin C. Blackmer, C. M., M. D., LLD., Past
Master, Past High Priest, Past Commander. Published by The Standard Masonic
Publishing Company, St. Louis, Me. May be purchased through the National Masonic
Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Black cloth, 297 pages,
with portrait. Price, $3.00 postpaid.
WHEN George Washington was initiated at Fredericksburg, Va., there stood in the
anteroom two demijohns of rum, facetiously called J and B. The thing was typical of
the customs of the day, which was a time of hard living and much drinking
everywhere. The festive board was the center of attraction in many lodges and the
fraternity itself, though there were many good men and great in its membership, was
usually looked upon as a kind of social order, an institution devoted to good
fellowship, rare sport and hilarity.
A change came over the fraternity during the Revolution. Bro. George Washington
himself had much to do with it for he was an active Mason and through his devotion
to the Order led many of the outstanding patriots to unite with the Craft, so that
gradually it increased in responsibility and dignity until at last, owing to the pressure
of the times and the solemn, serious crises of the war, it was welded and unified into a
solid brotherhood filled with a new national consciousness and a devout sense of the
leadership of God.
This period was followed, as by a kind of reaction, by the anti-Masonic crusade. The
fury and devastation it suffered from its enemies left the Craft dazed and prostrated,
so weakened in influence and decimated in numbers that Jeremiahs everywhere
predicted its speedy extinction. In one way that terrible grilling wrought good for
Freemasonry; it proved how unwise a thing it is for lodges to meddle in party politics,
and how wicked a thing it is for Masonic leaders to use the name of Masonry to
ballast their political kites. After the bitter lessons learned between 1820 and 1840, he
would be a foolish counsellor indeed who would recommend that Freemasonry
employ itself in such affairs.
Before the fraternity had recovered from this prostration the Civil War came upon it
so that once again it found itself passing through a furnace of fire. The record of the
Craft during that time of fraternal strife is a glorious one and somebody should
embody it in a history, lest the men of future generations forget how at one time
Masonry proved itself strong in the ordeal of battle.
During the period of slow growth which lasted from about 1870 until 1900 or
thereabouts, solemnized by that four-year period which had cast a dark gloom over
the entire country, the Masonic membership was filled with a serious religious
consciousness and a very sensitive fear lest the Order become too popular or its
secrets be made too easy of access.
After the beginning of the present century a new mood came over the Order
coincidentally with the beginning of the era of expansion which continues even now.
Freemasonry has grown to the largest fraternity in the world, an organization in this
land of nearly three million brethren, solidified by an acute national consciousness,
and dedicated to all manner of public service. Everywhere is activity, growth,
enlargement, ramification and an almost nervous zeal; lodges increase with an
amazing rapidity. The Order has grown Wore complicated and its problems have been
multiplied and intensified. The time has arrived when the individual Mason is so
bewildered in trying to find his way about among the Rites and auxiliary
organizations that some kind of guidance for him in the shape of Masonic literature
and education is a necessity, while those carrying the responsibility of managing such
a huge institution would soon find themselves helpless to handle the situation without
the help of Masonic literature. Books and journals, once looked upon with a certain
degree of suspicion as being in danger of revealing the "secrets" of the Craft, are now
encouraged and sought after as being a practical necessity.
Mr. Blackmer's The Lodge and the Craft is one of a score of volumes that have come
into existence during the past few years as a result of the evolution above described; it
is intended to assist the brethren in their understanding of their work and of the
institutional mechanism through which it is necessary that Freemasonry carry on its
activities. It is a volume in which masses of solid information are closely crowded
together and so organized and arranged that a newly made brother can follow it
through with understanding. It covers the work of the three degrees, explains the
forms of Masonic organization, deals with the ancient landmarks, symbols and
emblems, and in its last chapters contains some excellently wise advice concerning
the management of the lodge and the practice of Masonic jurisprudence. Brother
Blackmer has for many years been an active worker in several of the Rites, thereby
discovering what it is that Masons most need to know; this experience of practical
affairs has enabled him to make a judicious selection out of a store of knowledge that
is often astonishing in its extent. The book is especially valuable to beginning
students and to Study Clubs. It was originally composed with an eye to the needs of
the Grand Jurisdiction of Missouri, but such local references as it contains are of so
slight a character as not to affect its use by members of the Craft in all jurisdictions.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
contributors writes over his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions.
Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research
Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over
against another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction,
leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the
Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited
from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are
following our Study Club course. The Society is now receiving from fifty to one
hundred inquiries each week; it is manifestly impossible to publish many of them in
MASONRY'S OLDEST RECORDED DATE
While listening to a Masonic orator who claimed f or our fraternity a very great
antiquity it occurred to me to learn what is the oldest recorded date actually connected
with our institution. Can you tell me, please? The orator could not but he kindly
referred me to you.
Y. W. L., Ohio.
Our oldest Masonic MS., the Regius, is usually dated at 1390 A. D. but it is evident
from a study of this aged document that the Craft was of hoar age even then. There is
a yet older memorial in the form of an entry in the Corporation Records at Guildhall,
London, which proves that as early as 1356 rules for the regulation of the Masons of
London were passed before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs of the city. No other
fraternity in existence can prove by written records such an antiquity.
* * *
LUTHER BURBANK A MASON
I write to inquire if Luther Burbank, the great plant wizard of California, is a Mason.
He is one of my heroes whom I should like to think of as a brother in our ancient
B. W. M., North Carolina.
Bro. Luther Burbank was raised in Santa Rosa Lodge, California, Aug. 13, 1921. It
was a memorable event which the then Grand Master George F. Rodden, a gracious
and eloquent leader who will live long in the memories of the Craft of California,
afterwards described in a paragraph of beautiful prose: "Because the roster of
Masonry is replete with the names of famous men, it might be assumed, logically,
that to add another would occasion but little comment. Familiarity often engenders
indifference. But try as we will to hold steadfast to the principle of democracy and to
the landmark that in Masonry all men are upon a level plane, we cannot avoid being a
bit jubilant and proud when a man, who, by his virtues and ability, has won for
himself universal respect, admiration and international fame, evidences his faith in us
by desiring affiliation. On Saturday evening, Aug. 13, a great body of Masons (many
coming from distant places) assembled at Santa Rosa, there to witness or participate
in the raising of Futher Burbank. Seer and wizard, with a life of achievement,
foremost of his craft in all the world, he that night gave us a lesson in those qualities
of modesty and humility which distinguish the truly great, and which should be of
much splendid value to all who profit thereby. The Grand Master was honored with
an invitation which he was more than pleased to accept."
* * *
GRAND LODGE STATISTICS
I understand that Masonic membership in United States now runs to more than three
million. Can you give me the exact figures ?
Your information is somewhat in error, but not far off. According to a compilation
made by Bro. C. C. Hunt on July 1, 1923, our national membership totals 2,850,910.
Arranged alphabetically Grand Lodges run as follows:
'i'll 1 ’ll 1MI
District of Columbia
With these figures may be compared the findings for foreign Grand Lodges as
prepared by Bro. C. C. Woods, Fraternal Correspondent, Grand Lodge of Missouri:
• • • .
New South Wales
. • • .
Prince Edward Island
. . . .
* * *
THE DEMOCRACY OF DEATH
Years ago I read a beautiful piece of eloquence about death. Some lines keep running
through my head, like these:
"Death is a democracy in which all men lie at last on an equality. There is no rank or
honor in the grave." Do you chance to recognize the lines? If so, who was the author?
S. W. A., North Carolina.
The passage is doubtless J. J. Ingall's apostrophe to the grave. It is worth printing.
"In the democracy of the dead, all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor
station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave. At this fatal threshold the
philosopher ceases to be wise, and the song of the poet is silent. Dives relinquishes
his millions, and Lazarus his rags. The poor man is as rich as the richest and the rich
man is as poor as the pauper. The creditor loses his usury and the debtor is acquitted
of his obligation. There the proud man surrenders his dignities, the politician his
honors, the worldling his pleasures, the invalid needs no physician and the laborer
rests from unrequited toil.
"Here at last is nature's final decree in equity. The wrongs of time are redressed,
injustice is expiated, the irony of fate is refuted, the unequal distribution of wealth,
honor, capacity, pleasure and opportunity which makes life so cruel and inexplicable
ceases in the realm of death. The mightiest captain succumbs to that invincible
adversary, who disarms alike the victor and vanquished."
* * *
"IF WITHIN THE FIRST SQUARE OR ANGLE OF MY WORK"
Our Study Club committee has been asked the following question: what is the
meaning of "If within the first square or angle of my work?" We should greatly
appreciate any light you may be able to shed upon the subject.
L. C. H., Arizona.
The expression, "If within the first square or angle of my work," is found in a certain
part of the work of some states. Back in the early days of the society, a brother from
Idaho requested an explanation of this phrase, I noted as I was reading over some of
the old files of THE BUILDER; apparently, no one could then shed any light on it. I
hope he will see this also.
In the oldest American ritual known to me, which I believe to date back to 1805 or
1808, 1 find the following notation which sets forth the explanation that was offered
by whoever inserted the phrase in the ritual:
"At the building of King Solomon's Temple, the Fellowcrafts had certain angles or
squares marked out for them to work in and they were under no obligation to attend
any sign or token given them beyond that angle or square."
In other words, they were assigned certain sections of the work and had no
responsibilities outside of these sections. You will see that the phrase corresponds to
the other one, "if within the length of my cabletow." It has that same significance.
I would hesitate to even guess as to how this phrase came to be included. It might be
simply a fanciful invention and then again, the idea might be found in Josephus or
some other early Jewish writer. The most interesting feature is how this phrase came
to be handed down from perhaps 1808 and included in the work in some of the
Western States while generally discarded in the East.
A. L. KRESS.
* * *
SECRECY AS REGARDS LODGE BUSINESS
Is a Mason obligated to keep the business and financial affairs of his lodge locked up
in a faithful breast or is secrecy binding only on the ritualistic part? Some things have
leaked out of our own lodge recently that have brought the subject to the fore, so that
your opinion will be appreciated.
A. R. W„ Ohio.
Your Grand Master for 1921, Bro. John R. Flotron, expressed an opinion on that
subject that is to be recommended to brethren everywhere. Read and consider it as
good gospel. "1 find a general laxity throughout this Grand jurisdiction in the matter
of the business concerns of the lodge. A large portion of our members do not seem to
be aware of the fact that the buisness of a lodge is just as secret as ritualistic work,
especially so with reference to the ballot, which is one of its most sacred institutions
It is not given to all men to be honored by becoming members, but Masonry does not
contemplate placing upon such men a mark of character in the community in which
— o —
MUSICAL SETTING FOR "EVERY YEAR"
In the September BUILDER you refer to the poem "Every Year" by Albert Pike and
how he came to rewrite it.
In this connection it may be interesting to know that there are those now alive who
recite the fact that General Pike visited San Diego some time after the Civil War. My
informant is Arthur M. Ellis, of Los Angeles, authority on early Masonry in
But the fact I desired to call to your attention is that the organist of the San Diego
Lodge of Perfection has and plays the music to which this poem was set, by Col. E. T.
Blackmer, who was the Venerable Master of this Lodge of Perfection for years and
the one mainly responsible for the vigorous Scottish Rite Consistory now existing in
He was a very dear friend of mine and shortly after he composed the music to
accompany "Every Year" he played it on the piano to me and sang the song softly
over to it.
As it is not generally known that the poem has been set to music by Col. Blackmer
(after whom Blackmer Lodge is named) and the music can probably be obtained by
writing the organist of the Lodge of Perfection I thought it best to advise you of these
C. F. Willard, San Diego, Calif.
* * *
THE SCOTTISH RITE IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
The writer was bom in Bedford, Iowa, and was "raised" in that town by Taylor
Lodge, No. 156, immediately after returning from the Philippines with his regiment,
the 51st Iowa Vol.
I have been active in Masonic work in this territory since that time, more particularly
in Scottish Rite; and for some years have been compiling data for the archives of our
The oldest original letter we have is dated Nov. 20, 1873, from Pitkin C. Wright, of
DeWitt, Iowa, addressed to Governor John Owen Dominis (the Consort of Queen
Liliuokalani) in which he writes that "he has been commissioned by Or. Comd. Albert
Pike as General Deputy of the Supreme Council and to organize, establish and install
bodies in the Sandwich Islands." Wright signs his name as P. Gr. Com. Kt. T. of
Further records show that Wright did come to the Islands in 1 874 and installed the
bodies up to and including the 1 8th in that year.
We are most fortunate in having twenty- two original letters from Albert Pike himself
addressed to either Governor Dominis or King David Kalakaua, both of whom were-
crowned thirty-thirds for their active work in Masonry. We have had eleven thirty-
thirds in these Islands and our present membership is now over 700.
Walter R. Coombs, Honolulu.
* * *
MAGNUS JOHNSON NOT A MASON
I have had some inquiry as to whether or not Magnus Johnson, the newly elected
Senator of Minnesota, is a Mason.
In order to assure myself, I talked with him about it and will say he is not. Nor does
he belong to any other fraternal society.
He did at one time bung to The Court of Honor but dropped it a few years ago.
He is not opposed to secret fraternal orders and in his talk with me said he knew that
they were for and accomplish a great deal of good.
I write this thinking that you also may have inquiries regarding him. I have known
him for about sixteen years and he lives within the Jurisdiction of Plumb Line Lodge.
A. F. & A.M., No. 173, Kimball, Minn.
A.C. Douglass, Kimball, Minn.
* * *
SECRETARY FOR FIFTY-TWO YEARS
On looking over THE BUILDER for March, 1923, 1 came across "Forty-fifth Term as
We can beat that record in South Carolina. Bro. Tillman Faulkner was elected
Secretary of Star Lodge, No. 99, of Graniteville, S. C., on Dec. 3, 1868, and served
continuously till his death in 1920. In all that long period he missed only four
communications of his lodge, and those were missed during the last two or three
years of his life through sickness.
On April 10, 1916, Comp. Charles Frank Jackson was called Home after serving our
Grand Royal Arch Chapter as Grand Treasurer for fifty-eight years. Perhaps the
foregoing will interest your readers.
J. L. Michie, South Carolina.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE FEES IN CHINA
In THE BUILDER last December appeared a letter from Bro. William Moister in
which he relates how certain brothers had to pay in the neighborhood of $500.00 for
the Scottish Rite Degrees taken somewhere in the East, probably in China. I wonder if
it will be too late for me to offer a suggestion to explain these probably exorbitant
prices ? It is possible that the brethren in question were talking in terms of local
money which, in our case, is the Mexican dollar. The fees here in Shanghai for the
Scottish Rite are $340.00 Mexican. If to this was added the cost of a journey from
Japan and return it is probable that it did cost these brethren about $500.00 to get the
Rite. If they had to stay a week here the total cost to them would probably have been
not less than $600.00 Mexican. Bro. Moister does not mention the time when these
degrees were taken. If it was two years ago the Mexican dollar was then worth $1.11
in United States currency. The brethren therefore were not so far out after all in what
they told Bro. Moister.
E. J. Hudson, District Grand Secretary,
District Grand Lodge of China,
71 Szechneu, Shanghai, China.
— o —
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
It is better to surpass one's self than one's fellows.
* * *
It is said that Roy Chapman Andrews has discovered a nest of petrified dinosaur eggs
somewhere in Mongolia. Amateur symbologists, please copy. Doesn't this prove that
Freemasonry existed among the dinosaurs? Referred to the shade of Le Plongeon.
* * *
The late Sir John Robertson Ross, historian of the Craft in Canada, bequeathed his
fine Masonic library to the Grand Lodge of Canada. It has been housed in the Yonge
Street Temple, Toronto.
* * *
Bro. Dr. Joseph Fort Newton has recently accepted the post of Educational Director in
the Masonic Service Association; he will have his office in New York where he is
pastor of the Church of the Divine Paternity.
* * *
Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear
by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the
country and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of Seventy-six
did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the
Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property and his sacred
Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his
father and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for
the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her
lap; let it be taught in the schools, the seminaries and in the colleges, let it be written
in primers, in spelling books and almanacs, let it be preached from the pulpit,
proclaimed in the legislative halls of justice. In short, let it become the political
religion of the nation.
- Abraham Lincoln.